Of 12 people killed in the incident, six were from Maryland.

"I just thought it was very disrespectful for him to not think about that and not appreciate that," she said.

Speaking to reporters outside a Bethesda steakhouse, Perry said he's a "pro-Second Amendment guy" from a state that has long supported gun rights.

"Beretta has been a great manufacturer in Maryland," Perry said. "They feel not only underappreciated, they feel under attack."

The company, with about 300 employees, floated the idea of leaving Maryland after O'Malley moved tougher gun regulations through the General Assembly this year, but ultimately decided to stay. Company officials have left open the possibility of future expansions out of state.

Perry's visit to Beretta was not open to reporters. A company spokesman declined to comment.

The governor touched down after launching a $500,000 advertising campaign criticizing Maryland's business climate — a formula Perry has used ahead of similar job-scouting trips to New York, Connecticut and California. The ads and travel have been funded by TexasOne, an economic development group funded by private donors.

Perry emerged from a lunch with business and GOP leaders Wednesday saying it was too early to tell whether the trip would pay off. Sounding familiar refrains, he argued that Maryland over-taxes and over-regulates its economy.

And he swiped at stormwater fees imposed by lawmakers this year on the state's largest jurisdictions.

"We pray for rain in Texas," he said. "They tax it in Maryland."

O'Malley and Perry had not spoken since a 2011 debate that received little attention outside Washington. O'Malley, who has dismissed Perry's visit as a publicity stunt, told a group of Democrats this month that he "kicked his [expletive]" in that debate.

And on the day Perry arrived, The Washington Post published an op-ed piece by O'Malley in which he laid out many of the same arguments he later made on CNN.

The unemployment rate in Texas is six-tenths of a percent lower than that of Maryland, but O'Malley has noted that Maryland has the highest median income in the nation. Texas is ranked 22nd.

Perry's visit put state Republicans in the awkward position of supporting his criticism of O'Malley but opposing his attempt to draw jobs out of state. Several GOP leaders, including state party chairwoman Diana Waterman, met with him on Wednesday.

"Instead of following Governor Perry to Texas, business owners should stay and fight with their vote," state GOP leaders said in a joint statement after the meeting. "We can put Maryland back on track if we elect a Republican governor next year."

Baltimore Sun reporter Erin Cox contributed to this article.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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