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WV House Speaker Thompson urges Beretta to relocate to West Virginia

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House Speaker Rick Thompson wants to see firearm manufacturer Beretta USA relocate to West Virginia.

Thompson has contacted Beretta's top executive, according to a news release, and suggested the Mountain State as the most suitable state for the company's pending relocation.

"With available space and an available, educated work force in all areas of our state, you would have a wealth of opportunity to expand and grow your business here, where the people understand and care about your industry," Thompson wrote in his letter to Beretta USA Executive Vice President Franco Beretta, according to the news release.

"If you are seriously considering moving your headquarters to another location, it would be in your best interest to take a look at West Virginia."

Beretta has been contemplating whether to move part or all of the company out of Maryland because of an assault-weapons ban measure moving through the Maryland General Assembly, which would make some of Beretta's products illegal in Maryland.

Thompson said in his letter to Beretta that West Virginia would not support such a law.
Thompson said he thought he needed to act quickly to suggest West Virginia to the company.

"This company would bring hundreds of jobs to West Virginia, and showcase the state as a relocation spot for other industries," Thompson said in the news release.

Thompson wrote in his letter that West Virginia has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the country.

"This, combined with the state's long support of the Second Amendment and our close proximity to your current headquarters, makes us an excellent choice for Beretta USA in your relocation efforts," Thompson wrote. "I look forward to hearing from you, and if you have any available time, I would be glad to come to Maryland to explain in person why West Virginia would be an excellent choice for your headquarters or, in fact, any other expansion you may be considering."