Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. is heading south from Massachusetts to the land of good music and even better whiskey in Tennessee. After almost 170 years at its Springfield location, the renowned firearm company’s headquarters will now be located in Maryville. The company stated that much of its operations will also follow the move. This includes 550 jobs from Springfield and 200 from other various locations.
Even though moving to the Volunteer State comes with plenty of perks, Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith stated that the decision to move wasn’t a celebratory one. Instead, the manufacturer will move south due to new legislation in Massachusetts. According to Smith, legislation, pending on Beacon Hill, would soon bar the company from manufacturing certain guns. Smith decided to relocate to a state that supported Second Amendment rights and had a more affordable cost of living. That led him to Tennessee.
Of course, the move is also a bit emotional. After over a century and a half in Springfield, Smith is sorry to leave Massachusetts.
“This has been an extremely difficult and emotional decision for us, but after an exhaustive and thorough analysis, for the continued health and strength of our iconic company, we feel that we have been left with no other alternative,” Smith said in a statement.
According to Smith, the firearms that would be a part of the ban in the proposed legislation is responsible for roughly 60% of the company’s revenue.
Some operations will remain in Springfield, Massachusetts, such as metal-working and revolver assembly. This means Smith & Wesson will continue to employ roughly 1,000 people within the state. However, the remaining 750 will either have to relocate to the Maryville location in 2023 or receive “enhanced severance.”
Massachusetts Senator Shares Reaction to Smith & Wesson Relocation
Not everyone is supportive of Smith & Wesson’s decision to relocate. Massachusetts Senator Cynthia Creem commented on the company’s recent decision. In a statement, she claimed that the leaders are “trying to deflect blame elsewhere” for the company’s consolidation. Creem is a co-sponsor of the current legislation pending on Beacon Hill.
“It’s preposterous to think that Smith & Wesson decided to relocate its headquarters based on a bill that was filed in April and has not yet received a hearing,” Creem stated.
Meanwhile, fellow Massachusetts Senator Eric Lesser focused on the repercussions of Smith & Wesson’s move for employees who can’t relocate. He stated that the company’s announcement was “bad news for the hundreds of families who will lose stable, well-paying jobs.”
Smith & Wesson is not the only firearm company to make the move out of Massachusetts. A smaller gun parts manufacturer, Troy Industries, announced it would also be moving its headquarters to Tennessee. According to Troy industries, this was because of the “changing climate” for the industry within the state.