New Beretta Plant in Gun-Friendly Tennessee Nears Completion

photo from Tennessean.com.

After constant rain and snow slowed construction of Beretta's new plant in Gallatin, Tennessee earlier this year, the 100-acre-site could be ready to receive machinery from the company's Maryland plant as soon as next month, according to Tennessean.com.

In July 2014, Beretta officials announced the company would be moving all of its U.S. manufacturing from Maryland to the new 160,000 square-foot building in Tennessee, due in part to Maryland's gun restrictions, specifically after a law was signed restricting magazine capacity to 10 rounds.

By next summer, company officials expect to have about 140 employees working at the Gallatin facility. The company says about 26 current employees are interested in moving from Maryland to Tennessee to keep their jobs, and 10 employees from Tennessee have already been hired. The facility will ultimately employ about 300 people at its new plant, and it doesn't look like they'll have much trouble filling those slots. Beretta has received about 1,200 job applications.

"We're at about the 90 percent completion point in terms of the factory structure," said Beretta U.S.A. board member Jeff Reh. "We're still looking at November as a go-live date for some of the manufacturing operations." http://www.guns.com/2015/08/24/berettas-tennessee-facility-almost-complete/

Amidst all this change, Beretta finds itself fighting for a military contract worth $580 million, as the U.S. Military seeks a replacement for the Beretta M9, the standard issue sidearms for all military branches since 1985.

The Italian gunmaker faces competition like Colt, Glock, and Sturm, Ruger & Company, according to the Washington Post.

Often, losing a major military contract can lead to a serious decline for a gun company. Colt made the M1911A1 pistol for the military for 70 years before it was replaced by the M9. Colt filed for bankruptcy this summer, after a decades-long decline that can be traced to the loss of the M1911 contract.