Gun manufacturer Beretta USA announced Wednesday it would build its newest plant in Tennessee—not in Maryland, where the centuries-old Italian gun-maker is currently headquartered. Last year, when Maryland lawmakers approved a ban on the sale of 45 types of semiautomatic rifles, the company said it would site its next $45-million 300-job plant in another state.
Beretta, whose U.S. headquarters is located on the Potomac River in Accokeek, makes the U.S. military’s M9 pistol and an array of other firearms, some of which were banned by the state.
On Wednesday, the company announced it would build a new research and development plant in Gallatin, a town of about 30,000 people northeast of Nashville. It will be the first U.S. Beretta manufacturing plant outside of Maryland.
“From the moment when we started to consider a location outside of the state of Maryland for our manufacturing expansion, the governor [Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam] and his economic development team did an excellent job demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Tennessee,” Franco Gussalli executive vice president of Beretta USA, said in a statement.
Jeff Reh, a member of the company’s board of directors, said in a statement Wednesday, “We started our search by looking only at states that have a consistent history of support, and likelihood of future support, for Second Amendment rights.” There was no announcement regarding a move of Beretta USA’s headquarters, which has been in Accokeek for more than three decades.