Smith & Wesson recently stunned the nation by announcing a major change: For the first time in its lengthy, 168-year history, one of of America’s most iconic firearms manufacturers will be relocating its headquarters.
In a recent press release, Smith & Wesson stated that it has finished finalizing plans for leaving Springfield, Massachusetts in favor of Maryville, Tennessee by 2023. The reason for choosing Tennessee includes the state’s “unwavering support of the Second Amendment.”
Mark Smith, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, remarked that the decision was highly “emotional” and “difficult.” However, the team at Smith & Wesson believed that it was necessary to relocate after recently passed legislation in Massachusetts, which would prohibit the gunmaker from being able to manufacture semi-automatic weapons within the state’s borders.
As a result, Smith & Wesson had to make difficult decisions “for the continued health and strength of our iconic company,” Smith noted. Smith also remarked that even if the proposed legislation ultimately faces defeat, the idea of additional gun control measures made it unwise for the gunmaker to retain its operational headquarters in the state.
Smith noted that the bills proposed in Massachusetts would prevent the company “from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America,” the vast majority of which “are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day exercising their Constitutional [Second] Amendment rights.”
Regarding the company’s future headquarters, Smith was full of praise for Tennessee, adding that he appreciates the business-friendliness and reduced living costs available in the state, which will strongly benefit Smith & Wesson employees.
Smith observed that “the strong support” from Tennessee, alongside “the quality of life, outdoor lifestyle, and [reduced] cost of living in the Greater Knoxville area” made the decision to relocate remarkably straightforward.
The company will spend an estimated $125M on relocating, adding that upwards of 750 jobs may be moved from Massachusetts to Missouri and Tennessee by the Summer of 2023.
In addition, another gunmaker, Troy Industries, also claimed that the “changing climate” regarding the Second Amendment was the reasoning for relocating from West Springfield, Massachusetts, to friendlier climates of Clarksville, Tennessee.