Major Gun Company Threatens to Leave Maryland Over New Gun Control Proposals

Beretta USA is threatening to leave Maryland over new gun control proposals, the Washington Post reports, and they would take hundreds of jobs along with them.

“Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” Jeffrey Reh, general counsel for Beretta, asked.

The Washington Post explains:

Beretta, the nearly 500-year-old family-owned company that made one of James Bond’s firearms, has already invested more than $1 million in the [civilian version of a machine gun designed for special operations forces] and has planned to expand its plant further in Prince George’s County to ramp up production.

But under an assault-weapons ban that advanced late last week in the Maryland General Assembly, experts say the gun would be illegal in the state where it is produced.

Now Beretta is weighing whether the rifle line, and perhaps the company itself, should stay in a place increasingly hostile toward its products. Its iconic 9mm pistol — carried by every U.S. soldier and scores of police departments — would also be banned with its high capacity, 13-bullet magazine.

Read more here.

Will Liberal Maryland be first state to vote ‘yes’ on gay marriage?

Irene Huskens has the wedding venue picked out: a charming bed-and-breakfast in southern Maryland. But the wedding is no sure thing.

The plans made by Huskens, a 43-year-old police captain, and her partner, Leia Burks, hinge on whether Marylanders make history on Nov. 6 by voting to legalize same-sex marriage. A “yes” vote, and the wedding is on. A “no” victory? Huskens is loath to consider it.

“There are a lot of Marylanders who want to set the precedent of equality who will vote from their gut for fairness,” she said at her colonial suburban home in Prince George’s County, where she and Burks are raising two adopted children.

Dating back to 1998, 32 states have held votes on same-sex marriage, and all 32 have opposed it. Maryland is one of four states with Nov. 6 referendums on the issue — and gay-marriage advocates believe there’s a strong chance the streak will be broken.

In Maryland, Maine and Washington, it’s an up-or-down vote on legalizing same-sex marriage. In Minnesota, there’s a measure to place a ban on gay marriage in the state constitution, as 30 other states have done previously.

Read more here.

Feds to help investigate P.G. killings

Federal agents are embedding with homicide investigators in Prince George’s County starting this week in a rare move as authorities scramble to react to a string of 13 killings that have occurred already in 2011.

“It is very unusual for us to bring in agents and embed them in our homicide division,” said police spokesman Maj. Andy Ellis. “I can’t remember us doing that since probably the mid-to-late ’90s.”

The county has been rocked by news of a homicide spike since New Year’s Day. The county’s 13 killings exceed the 12 U.S. military deaths that have occurred this year in Afghanistan as of Friday morning.

Police now say there have only been 12 homicides this year, as one death is considered justifiable. A 30-year-old was shot and killed Tuesday by a homeowner while trying to break into the owner’s New Carrollton residence. “The long and short of it is intent,” Cpl. Evan Baxter explained.

The federal agents will come from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, though Ellis said he did not know how many would join county detectives.

County police have enlisted other area law enforcement agencies to help: On Wednesday night, officers from the Maryland State Police, the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department, Mount Rainier Police Department and Bladensburg Police Department joined county police to saturate areas of the county where some of the murders have taken place.

The first victim of the year was a man stabbed to death in Chillum.

Police say most of the county’s victims — including a University of Maryland student slain this week — do not appear to be random, and instead were likely killed because of involvement in drugs, gangs or personal disputes.

The latest victim announced by police was Alitha Mae Jenkins, 51, of Landover, whose death was ruled a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore on Wednesday. She was found dead Friday in a grassy area along a Capitol Heights roadside, Ellis said.

Read more here.

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