Gunmaker Smith & Wesson is closing a Massachusetts distribution facility and moving to Missouri by the end of the year.
American Outdoors Brand Corporation, the parent company of Smith & Wesson, announced recently that it will construct a new 600,000 square-foot, $75 million warehouse near Columbia, Mo. in a cost-saving move associated with consolidating, according to Mass Live.
Currently, the company has distribution centers in Jacksonville, Fla., two in Massachusetts, and one in Missouri, which will all be closed.
“All that is going away,” said Jeffrey Buchanan, AOBC’s chief financial officer and executive vice president.
All the company’s products will be shipped to the new facility, where all distribution operations will take place.
The plan is that the Springfield and the Missouri facilities will work in conjunction with the new facility as they transition, a process that will take place over a year. They will hire 154 new employees initially and another 174 over the next few years.
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All employees who work at the existing distribution facilities will be transferred to the Missouri facility, which has been under construction since 2017.
Elizabeth A. Sharp, vice president of investor relations for American Outdoor Brands Corp said, “We do not expect any job loss in conjunction with the transition.”
AOBC will then allocate all distribution, including its Crimson Trace logistics operation in Wilsonville, Oregon to Missouri.
Sharp said,“The [tax] benefit occurs to us at the Logistics facility, since it will now have nexus with our customers, and it will be less impacted by taxes when those products (upon which Smith & Wesson has already paid taxes in Massachusetts) are then sent to higher tax-rate states.”
Protests have been ramping up at the gates of the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield from activists demanding stricter gun control, Mass Live reported.
A senior at the High School of Commerce in Springfield, Jenedi Mohamed, 18, said about prayers at his mosque after the New Zealand shooting, “That is where I go to pray to Allah. If I don’t feel safe in a place of prayer, something is wrong.”
The Pioneer Valley Project has been leading the protests. The group consists of those in strong support of “criminal justice reform, education, housing and stopping gun violence,” Mass Live noted.
In addition, another group, the “B-Peace for Jorge Campaign” of the Episcopalian Dioceses of Massachusetts in Boston also joins the protests in honor of 19-year-old Jorge Fuentes, who was murdered in Dorchester in 2012.
Protests have ramped up outside of the facility since the Feb. 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.