POSTED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 5:40pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 11:37pm
There are two things you can say about Texas.
We are a business-friendly state, and we are a gun-friendly state.
So could that help us lure a legendary gunmaker to our neck of the woods?
Well, the answer is sure, if the perks and sweeteners are all competitive.
But you’d be hard pressed to find a place where they’d be more welcome.
Beretta firearms is the oldest existing arms maker in the world.
Founded in 1526, and still run by the Beretta family, it is a worldwide corporation.
In 1995, the Beretta M92 was adopted by the US military as it’s official sidearm, replacing the Colt 1911.
And right now, Beretta is unhappy.
New strict gun laws in Maryland have moved Beretta to consider moving its US operation, and 300 jobs, to a more amenable state.
“I’ve been contacted by a number of our economic development council and even some elected officials about following up,” says TEDC director Tom Mullins.
But the Carrier facilities here in Tyler will be closed by the first quarter of 2014. The housing crash meant the air conditioning business is rough. But guns are going, well, great guns. So, why couldn’t Beretta move here?
“It’s about a half a million square feet,” says Mullins. “It’s got rail adjacent to it. It’s in an industrial area. It’s got all the utilities and infrastructure in place. Texas is consistently ranked as the most competitive business climate in the country. Less regulation, lower taxes, able to do business the way companies want to do business. There’s an attitude here that shows that we’re open for business and we want people to invest here.”