BREAKING: Beretta announces manufacturing expansion in Tennessee

After months of searching, Beretta USA announced this morning that it will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

Beretta officials made the announcement along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam that the company will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility, and bring to the Volunteer State 300 new jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year in Gallatin Industrial Park.

“Beretta is one of the world’s greatest companies, and their decision to expand into Tennessee speaks to the standards of craftsmanship and quality our state’s workforce embraces every day,” Haslam said. “Attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. I want to thank the Beretta family for their substantial investment in Tennessee and the 300 jobs they’ll create in Sumner County.”

“From the moment when we started to consider a location outside of the State of Maryland for our manufacturing expansion, Governor Haslam and his economic development team did an excellent job demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Tennessee.  We are convinced we could find no better place than Tennessee to establish our new manufacturing enterprise.  We look forward to building operations here and being part of your community for many years to come,” said Franco Gussalli Beretta, executive vice president and director of Beretta Holding S.p.A.

If you haven’t heard of Beretta, it’s the company that makes pistols for the U.S. military — the Beretta M9 — just expanded its concealed carry pistol line up with the Nano and the Pico, been teasing U.S. consumers with the ARX rifle, and offers high-end hunting shotguns for those Downton Abbey types. Many of the company’s popular items fall under a grey area in Maryland gun laws, even though the features have been standard for years.

Around March last year, Beretta decided expand outside of Maryland due to lawmakers passing the strict new gun laws. Needless to say, company officials didn’t want to move to another state with equally limiting gun laws.

“We started our search by looking only at states that have a consistent history of support for and likelihood of future support for Second Amendment rights,” said Jeff Reh, a member of Beretta USA’s board of directors.

But choosing finding a state with gun-friendly laws was the easy part. Reh explained the process for finding a new location is complex, as there’s a myriad of needs that need to be met such as tax rates, cost of living, cost of doing

We then reduced this list of States further by looking at traditional business-related factors “such as tax rates, cost of living, cost of doing business, availability of white and blue collar workers, traditions of high-level manufacturing in the area, the quality of local educational institutions, availability of job recruitment, screening and training, and so forth.”