Smith & Wesson Headquarters, Other Operations Moving To Tennessee
By Matthew Carroll
After 169 years of manufacturing firearms, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. has decided to move its headquarters from Springfield, Mass., to Maryville, Tenn. The firearms company cites recent anti-gun legislation proposed in the state of Massachusetts as the primary driving force behind their decision to relocate. The move will take place in 2023.
Legislation on the floor of the Massachusetts state legislature proposes limiting the types of firearms that can be manufactured in the state.
“These bills would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America and that are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day,” says Mark Smith, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson. “These products made up over 60 percent of our revenue last year, and the unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson.”
Following a thorough review, Smith & Wesson has decided that Maryville, Tenn. reflects the sort of values the company can optimistically and productively flourish in. Governor Bill Lee along with the Tennessee state legislature offered their support in courting the iconic brand to relocate to their state. Smith & Wesson cited Tennessee’s low cost of living, quality of life, numerous outdoor opportunities and Second Amendment-friendly views as key considerations in their decision.
Smith is aware of the strain this move will potentially have on current employees.
“Our loyal employees are the reason for our success and are always our number one priority. We are deeply saddened by the impact that this difficult decision will have on so many of our dedicated employees,” says Smith. “But in order to preserve future jobs and for the viability of our business in the long term, we are left with no choice but to relocate these functions to a state that does not propose burdensome restrictions on our company.”
As many as 1,000 jobs at Smith & Wesson will remain in Massachusetts as the company will keep forging, machining, metal finishing and assembly of revolvers operations in what will be the reconfigured Springfield plant. The move potentially affects, 750 employees, who, if they cannot relocate to Tennessee, will be offered enhanced job placement services to help mitigate the impact of the relocation. The company will also be assisting with the moving process of employees who wish to transfer to the new location.
The new facility in Tennessee will make up the company’s headquarters, plastic injection molding, pistol and long gun assembly and distribution operations.
Construction on the new headquarters will begin this year, with the goal of substantial completion by summer 2023.