Top officials from gun manufacturer Beretta — along with state dignitaries — shoveled piles of dirt at a groundbreaking for the new manufacturing facility Thursday.
The company is moving all of its U.S. manufacturing to Gallatin from Maryland after that state’s assembly passed new gun control legislation last year.
Beretta expects to eventually employ 300 at the new plant, but it is unclear how many of those jobs will go to Tennesseans. The company gave its Maryland workforce first dibs on jobs in Gallatin.
Jeff Reh, one of Beretta’s board of directors, says that 42 of the company’s top employees agreed to make the move and others are asking to do the same.
“We had dozens, and I personally had dozens come up to me unsolicited and say, ‘Can I volunteer for the Tennessee project?'” says Reh. “And I said, ‘I don’t know if you realize if that’s a pun, but you certainly can.’”
Beretta officials say they will start building the facility in September, and it will be open for operation July 2015.