NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Italian gun maker Beretta said Wednesday that Tennessee's support for gun rights was a major factor in its decision to build a manufacturing and research facility in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin.
The $45 million plant is projected to be complete this year and create 300 new jobs.
Gun rights were "the first criteria for deciding to even consider a state," said Jeff Reh, a member of Beretta USA Corp.'s board of directors.
Reh spoke to reporters after a press conference that included Gov. Bill Haslam and Franco Gussalli Beretta, the company's executive vice president and director, as well as lawmakers and city officials.
Reh, who led the site search, said there were some states considered that "respect Second Amendment rights," but they "didn't have the type of support that we saw in Tennessee."
Several states began wooing Beretta from Maryland after the company raised objections to a wide-ranging gun control measure enacted there last year. Company officials said Wednesday that they have reached capacity in Maryland, requiring the expansion elsewhere.