Photos courtesy of Taurus Holdings, Inc, image manipulation by America’s 1st Freedom.
Gun manufacturer Taurus’s move from Miami to a 73-acre property in Bainbridge, Georgia is nearly complete, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Dec. 5. The company’s arrival is bringing new manufacturing jobs to the community and sparking growth in complementary businesses, such as real estate and restaurants.
Taurus Holdings Inc., owned by Brazil-based Forjas Taurus, S.A., began selling guns in the United States in 1968. The company is known for creating unusual guns like the Judge, which shoots both .45 Colt handgun and .410 shotgun ammunition, and the Curve, a squared-shaped .380 pistol, in addition to more standard firearms.
“These new jobs have a huge impact on a small community like ours,” Rick McCaskill, Bainbridge/Decatur County Development Authority executive director, told America’s 1st Freedom in a phone interview. “Our real-estate market is benefitting, and retail and restaurants have surged as well.”
“Taurus moving here has caused people to call my office asking ‘Why Bainbridge?’ McCaskill added. “We were a little surprised ourselves – we didn’t think those Miami folks were going to want to move to South Georgia. But the folks who came to look fell in love with what a special place this is.”
Bainbridge has 14,000 residents—about half the population of Decatur County, where the town is located. It is a rural and agricultural area about 40 miles northwest of Tallahassee, Fla. Taurus has invested over $22.5 million in infrastructure and expects to add 300 new jobs to the community. About 20% of its Miami workforce decided to move to Bainbridge as well, according to Kim Cahalan, a Taurus media consultant.
David Blenker, president and CEO of Taurus USA, said in a press release, “The decision to relocate stems from our desire to expand our facility, keeping all operations in one location.” The new facility is 200,000 square feet, most of which is allocated for manufacturing. The site also incorporates indoor and outdoor ranges for product testing.
Part of the move’s motivation is doubtless Georgia’s gun-friendly environment. “The hunting and shooting culture is big here,” McCaskill said. “They [Taurus] have been great corporate citizens already, and we haven’t had any blowback on anything about this.”
Taurus’ president has already integrated himself and the business into the community in many ways. Blenker wanted Chick-fil-A to open near the new facility, and it has. Taurus has also been sponsoring many community events. In addition, the local technical college is involved in training new employees.
Together, Blenker and McCaskill are also working toward having a new 500-acre outdoor range for all types of shooting. It will cater to “corporate outings as well as ‘Joe Smith’ off the street,” noted McCaskill. In fact, the land for that range has been purchased and the plans are already drawn up. The facility is expected to open as soon as next Fall.