Italian gun maker Beretta is building a new manufacturing and research plant in Sumner County that will bring 300 jobs to the area.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty made the announcement Wednesday morning at the State Capitol.
The global manufacturer of sporting and military firearms will invest $45 million into a manufacturing and R&D facility at the Gallatin Industrial Park.
"It will take Gallatin from being known across the state of Tennessee to being known around the world," said Gallatin Mayor Joanne Graves.
The plant will create firearms for the company's sporting and tactical product lines.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, with operations at the facility beginning early next year.
The family-owned company has operated in Italy since 1526. Beretta makes a variety of firearms, ranging from hunting shotguns to the U.S. Armed Forces M-9 pistol.
"Their name means excellence, it means quality, it means the highest standards," Haslam said.
Several states began wooing Beretta from Maryland after the company raised objections to a wide-ranging gun control measure enacted there last year.
"We started our search by looking at only those states that we felt had a consistent history and likely future history of supporting Second Amendment rights," said Jeff Rey, of Beretta USA.
Company officials said Wednesday that have reached capacity in Maryland, requiring the expansion elsewhere.
Beretta says it chose Tennessee for its business climate, tax rate and skilled workers.
"Manufacturing, from our point of view, is the most critical part of our job," said Franco Gussalli Beretta.
The company isn't specifically saying what its new jobs will pay. Most of those hired, they say, will be Tennesseans.
And the exact incentive package is still being finalized, but it's expected to include tax credits and assistance on infrastructure.
Franco Beretta says he was also impressed with Oak Ridge National Labs and hopes to partner in some research and development work.
Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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