If it did pass, Manchin's bill would apply to every state in the country, not exclusively West Virginia, but Reh said Manchin's actions made Beretta USA question West Virginia.
"Our understanding was that the people of West Virginia were strongly pro-gun," Reh said. "We don't know how emblematic his reaction is of other West Virginians."
West Virginia consistently ranks in the top 10 of states with the highest percentage of gun owners.
In this spring's legislative session at least 36 bills were proposed that would ease gun laws in West Virginia.
Beretta USA employs about 400 people in Maryland. The state's lawmakers recently passed a law banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, among other measures.
In March, as that bill was working its way through Maryland's legislature, West Virginia lawmakers began wooing Beretta to move one state west.
Rick Thompson, who was then speaker of the House of Delegates, wrote to Beretta USA, proposing West Virginia as an alternative "where the people understand and care about your industry."
Del. Tim Miley, the new speaker of the House, wrote to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, urging him to look into what sort of incentives could be offered to entice Beretta USA to come to West Virginia.
Within the past two weeks Manchin and the National Rifle Association have both begun attacking each other through campaign-style television ads, despite the fact that Manchin is not up for re-election until 2018 and is a member of the NRA.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.