Watching Smith & Wesson moving to Tennessee after operating in Massachusetts since 1852 is a sad state of affairs. Why are they moving? Because Massachusetts has gone so far left that they have proposed the banning of the ”manufacture of any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device” — except for those built for “an authorized law enforcement or military agency of the commonwealth, any other state, the United States, or a foreign government.” (Daily Wire). Smith & Wesson announced moving its ”headquarters and significant elements of its operations” to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023 at an investment of at least $120 Million.
HD 4192 was filed in the Massachusetts legislature on April 20, 2021 as an “Act to stop mass shootings.” Of course we know that is not the case, and it will have no effect whatsoever on mass shootings because criminals do not follow the law. But the atmosphere has created a hostile environment for firearms manufacturers, so Smith & Wesson moving is just the beginning. S&W derives about 60% of its sales from AR style rifles.
”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. 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. 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.”
Mark Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer S&W
Here are the reasons stated for the relocation to a more gun-friendly state:
- Support for the 2nd 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
Smith & Wesson stated in a press release that they will leave about 1,000 jobs in Massachusetts, and use that facility for ”forging, machining, metal finishing, and assembly of revolvers.” They will consolidate their Connecticut and Missouri operations as well into Maryville, Tennessee, where their headquarters will be located. The relocation will not affect the operation in Maine. They plan to bring 750 jobs to Tennessee, and any employee who cannot move with them will be offered enhanced severance options and job placement.
Left wing anti-gunners have claimed that Massachusetts is ”exporting bloodshed to the rest of the country.” It’s a false narrative, and fails to take into account criminals who choose to kill. They will never understand that it’s the person behind the gun, not the gun, that causes ”mass shootings.” Why? Because there is an agenda behind the false narratives. Smith & Wesson moving is only one symptom of the ever increasing hate for the Second Amendment in blue states.
Smith & Wesson has fought lawsuits that were allowed to proceed in spite of the PLCAA. Adding HD 4192/ SD 2588 to the heap of actions that could destroy their industry was not something they wanted or needed to tackle. Tennessee has been openly favorable to their move.
“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. We would like to specifically thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the 2nd Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business friendly environment.”
Mark Smith, Smith & Wesson
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