Smith & Wesson, one of the nation’s oldest firearms manufacturers, recently announced that the company will be moving its headquarters and significant elements of its operation from its longtime home in Springfield, Mass., to Maryvale, Tenn., in 2023. The company has been in Springfield since it was incorporated in 1852.
“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,” said Mark Smith, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, in a press release.
More and more, we have seen firearms manufacturers depart from states that are less-than-friendly to the Second Amendment and head for greener pastures in states that are much more friendly. Many of these companies are reacting to burdensome and restrictive laws that are being enacted, negatively impacting their ability to function. Even employees at some gun makers—Smith & Wesson included—have found themselves making semi-automatic firearms, guns that are clearly in common use, that they can’t own themselves.
Smith & Wesson is one of the biggest names to make a major move recently, but the company is far from the only one to do so.
Specifically, Smith noted that recent proposed legislation in Massachusetts would, if enacted, prohibit Smith & Wesson, and others, from manufacturing particular types of firearms 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 exercising their Constitutional Second Amendment rights, protecting themselves and their families, and enjoying the shooting sports,” said 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.”
As for the move, the company indicated that it had vetted a number of locations before settling on its future home in Tennessee. Some key factors in the move included support for the Second Amendment, a business-friendly environment, and quality of life for employees.
“The strong support we have received from the State of Tennessee and the entire leadership of Blount County throughout this process, combined with the quality of life, outdoor lifestyle, and low cost of living in the Greater Knoxville area, has left no doubt that Tennessee is the ideal location for Smith & Wesson’s new headquarters,” said Smith.
Smith & Wesson will also close facilities in Connecticut and Missouri as part of its planned consolidation in Tennessee. This will reduce the number of locations it maintains and will help it streamline operations.
The planned move will not take place until 2023, and will have no impact on any employee’s job until that time. The historic plant in Springfield, Mass., meanwhile, will be reconfigured and remain operational after the move.
Keep an eye out for the next issue of America’s 1st Freedom where we further dissect why so many of these major manufacturers are following this trend of moving to states that embrace the Second Amendment.