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Ammunition maker announces $42 million Little Rock plant

Daniel Breen
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson greets Fiocchi Munizioni CEO Maurizio Negro at the site of a future ammunition plant at the Port of Little Rock Tuesday.

An Italian ammunition manufacturer is expanding its presence in central Arkansas. Fiocchi of America announced Tuesday it’s investing $42 million in a new facility at the Port of Little Rock.

It’s the second manufacturing facility for the company in the city, with the first opening in far southeast Little Rock in 2020. The new plant is expected to create 120 jobs.

Speaking to reporters on the future 281-acre site of the facility, Arkansas Commerce Secretary Mike Preston credited Gov. Asa Hutchinson with fostering a business-friendly environment in the state.

“With this announcement today, we are now over 500 announced economic development projects under his administration. That’s resulted in over $14 billion in capital investment, and today, as opposed to January of 2015 when he took office, we have 125,000 more Arkansans working,” Preston said.

Hutchinson said expanding the firearms and ammunition industry in Arkansas has been “a priority and a target industry” in his eight years in office. Gun manufacturer SIG Sauer announced plans to expand its footprint in Jacksonville last year.

With several new developments springing up at the Port of Little Rock in recent years, newly-reelected Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said he’ll make it a priority of his second term to free up more space for industry.

“One of the things we have to remain committed to is land acquisition for the Little Rock Port Authority. And so that’s why I’m committed to work with the City Board and propose additional land for the Little Rock Port Authority so we can continue to grow this city forward together,” Scott said.

The new plant will manufacture ammunition primer, which helps initiate the propellant found in bullets and shotgun shells. Fiocchi of America says it will be the first facility of its kind in the world to be completely lead-free.

Daniel Breen is a Little Rock-based reporter, anchor and producer for KUAR.