Maybe all gun makers should be in small towns. This thought must have occurred to everyone present as we stood in Bainbridge, Georgia’s town square under lights on a soft early December evening celebrating Taurus USA’s move. They’d just opened a factory in this charming little town of not much more than 12,000 people.
“It is so good to be in this perfect little town,” an engineer said to me as we stood under majestic old trees that were draped in Spanish moss. The town square around us could have been the set for the picturesque small town in the 1985 film “Back to the Future.” There is a Victorian-era clock tower, a stately county courthouse and even the kind of cannon every American town square needs.
“Back to the Future” isn’t a bad tagline for this move from Miami, as this is the future coming to a small town. Taurus has built, and is still fine-tuning, a state-of-the-art factory in Bainbridge, where they’ll design and manufacture guns for the American marketplace.
Taurus already has its new factory up and running in Bainbridge. These are higher-paying manufacturing jobs for an area that’s better known for growing peanuts.
“This is a big deal,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp from a podium in front of Taurus’ new factory. “This continues the growth of our state. Our employment is at new highs and our unemployment numbers are the lowest in nineteen years—all that means great things for the state and for all of us.”
During a tour of the factory, Taurus Holdings CEO David Blenker proudly showed off the new facility and explained that the first thing they opened in Bainbridge was a call-in help center. Taurus found a deep pool of friendly, gun owners here in rural Georgia to hire from. These new customer-service representatives have quickly become a warm and knowledgeable connection to dealers and customers.
After the official opening, we moved to a range located on the new property to shoot Taurus’ many Taurus’ pistols and revolvers. We were quickly reminded why Taurus has earned a part of the American marketplace.
Blenker proudly told us that Taurus had decided that the first 2,000 of its award-winning .22-caliber pistols should be sold in area dealers. “We decided to create a certificate of authenticity to go with the guns,” he said, “and we asked [Bainbridge] Mayor Ed Reynolds if he would certify them.” Reynolds agreed. He hand-signed each of the 2,000 certificates. The offer was announced just after Thanksgiving, and less than two weeks later, more than half the guns had already been sold to area residents.
Clearly, Taurus is beginning a new era—a new beginning in America’s long and storied history of innovative gun making.