Recently, gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson relocated its headquarters from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Maryville, Tennessee, where a grand opening ceremony was hosted on Saturday. Following legislative uncertainty, the firearms company announced it would move operations to Tennessee nearly two years ago.
Smith & Wesson’s relocation plans include a $125 million investment and approximately 750 created jobs. The company had resided in Massachusetts since its founding in 1852, and executive leadership noted the decision to move was not an easy one. However, in the face of anti-gun legislation, Smith & Wesson had to act in the best interest of the company’s operations.
“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.” Stated Mark Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, citing legislation proposed in Massachusetts at the time that could prevent the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state.
The chief executive continued, explaining the possible impacts of the proposed legislation. Smith claims the laws could prohibit the manufacture of basic firearms that are legal in practically every state. Such guns make up the vast majority of Smith & Wesson’s revenue, showing how the bills create a massive political risk for the company to continue operations in Massachusetts. Smith ultimately slams the legal initiatives as an infringement of the constitutional rights of Americans.
“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,” Smith continued.
In sharp contrast to the anti-gun attitudes from Massachusetts politicians, Tennessee gave Smith & Wesson a warm welcome to the Volunteer State. Sen. Marsha Blackburn attended the opening ceremony for the new Maryville facility, reaffirming her state’s commitment to honoring the Second Amendment.
“In Tennessee, we know that the Second Amendment is non-negotiable and are pleased to officially welcome Smith & Wesson to Maryville. Their significant investment in our state is a testament to our pro-business policies, and we look forward to their continued partnership to bolster our economic development and exceptionally skilled workforce,” Blackburn said.
The NRA congratulated Smith & Wesson for its recent move to Tennessee, applauding the company’s perseverance to fight through the anti-gun legislation it was facing. “Congratulations to Smith & Wesson on their grand opening in Tennessee. This move is a testament to their enduring legacy, their commitment to firearm excellence, and to the importance of preserving America’s gun industry and Second Amendment rights in a fair environment,” said NRA Executive Director of Advancement Tyler Schropp.
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