Leading firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. announced this week that it plans to move its headquarters from Massachusetts to Tennessee in 2022, primarily due to proposed anti-firearms legislation in the state the company has called home since 1852.
The Massachusetts legislation would prevent the company from manufacturing products that made up more than 60 percent of its revenue in 2020. Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith said that the proposed laws would prevent the company from making legal firearms in almost all states in the U.S. and are used by tens of millions of citizens exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.
Smith & Wesson will keep its facility in Springfield, Massachusetts in operation, but will close locations in Missouri and Connecticut as the new facility in Tennessee comes online. The new headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Volunteer State is expected to lead to more than 750 new jobs. The company stated that employees who did not wish to relocate would be offered severance packages and placement services.
In addition to the new jobs added to the Tennessee economy, the National Shooting Sports Foundation stated that Smith & Wesson would be spending more than $125 million to build a “new state of the art facility.” The group also noted that Smith & Wesson’s plan is consistent with firearms producers moving to more gun-friendly states over the last 15 years.
Smith said that the emotional decision to leave Massachusetts was difficult, but Smith & Wesson had no other choice to ensure the company’s health and continuing strength.
The Tennessee facility will be located in Maryville, just outside of Knoxville, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Among the factors considered in choosing the location for its new headquarters, the company included “support for the 2nd amendment” and the available “quality of life for employees.” Smith added in his statement that the company thanked Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Lee and the state’s government for “unwavering” support of gun rights and for “creating a welcoming, business-friendly environment.”