Famous gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson has stated its intentions to reseat its headquarters from where it currently sits in Massachusetts all the way down to Tennessee, claiming the “changing business climate for firearms manufacturing in Massachusetts” as the cause.
The over $1 billion company has worked out of Springfield, Massachusetts since its inception back in 1952, which was roughly a decade before the start of the American Civil War. Despite this, the gun manufacturer has stated that it pl[and to relocate its headquarters, along with “significant elements of its operations,” over to Maryville, Tennessee starting the move in 2023.
“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,” stated Mark Smith, the CEO of Smith & Wesson, as part of a press release.
Along with the previously stated reasons for the move to Tennessee, Smith & Wesson also cited:
- Support for the Second Amendment
- Business-friendly environment
- Quality of life for employees
- Cost of living and affordability
- Access to higher education institutions
- Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions
- Favorable location for efficiency of distribution
Currently, Smith & Wesson has portioned out about $120 million into this new facility out in Tennessee, moving its workforce from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Missouri to the new site by the deadline of the new facilities competition in the summer of 2023.
The press release from the company made reference to HD 4192 which is a currently pending piece of legislation in Massachusetts that had the goal of trying to ban the manufacture of “any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device” except for any such devices built for “an authorized law enforcement or military agency of the commonwealth, any other state, the United States, or a foreign government.”
“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 exercising their Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights, protecting themselves and their families, and enjoying the shooting sports,” stated Smith. “While we are hopeful that this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session, these products made up over 60% 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.”
Seemingly in spite of this newly planned legislation in Massachusetts, almost 3.2 million Americans bought their first firearm during the first half of 2021. With close to half of all these new gun owners being below the age of 40.
“This survey shows that there is a continuing demand signal for firearms from the American public,” stated National Shooting Sports Foundation President and CEO Joe Bartozzi. “We witnessed each month background check figures associated with a gun sale that are second only to those we saw in last year’s record-breaking totals.”