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Gunmaker Smith & Wesson moving to TN from MA over gun control laws

Smith and Wesson, Springfield, Mass. distribution center. (Google Maps/Released)
September 30, 2021

Smith & Wesson is moving its headquarters from Massachusetts to East Tennessee, as well as a “significant portion of operations,” the company announced Thursday. The gun-maker is investing $125 million to make the move and creating more than 700 jobs.

According to a press release, the gunmaker is moving due to the “changing business climate for firearms manufacturing in Massachusetts.”

Massachusetts currently has a “red flag” gun confiscation law, an “assault weapon” and high-capacity magazine ban, and requires background checks on most firearm transfers. In April 2021, state lawmakers introduced a bill to ban manufacturing of “assault weapons” for civilian purchase in the state.

“Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., one of the nation’s oldest firearms manufacturers, announced today that it is moving its headquarters and significant elements of its operations to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023,” the company’s statement read. “Smith & Wesson has been based in Springfield, Massachusetts since the company was incorporated in 1852.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said the move is bringing over 700 jobs to the Volunteer State, marking “another major economic development win.” The company will also spend $125 million to relocate, the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development noted, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We’re keeping our foot on the gas & I’m excited to announce another major economic development win. Welcome to TN, @Smith_WessonInc!” Lee tweeted. “We’re proud this company has chosen to relocate from Massachusetts to Blount Co. Thanks for creating 750 jobs & your significant investment.

Smith & Wesson is one of the world’s most prominent gun designers and manufacturers. The company makes a number of firearm products, including handguns, long guns, handcuffs and suppressors.

“Smith and Wesson have announced they are moving their Headquarters to East Tennessee! I am thrilled for our friends and family in Blount County. This will be a positive impact for all our counties in East Tennessee,” tweeted Rebecca Alexander, Tennessee state representative for District 7. “Keep up the good work TNECD!”

In May, Troy Industries, another gun maker, also announced it was moving from Massachusetts to Tennessee.

“While Troy has enjoyed a very successful period of growth in Massachusetts, the changing climate for firearms manufacturers in the state determined the need for our relocation to Tennessee to ensure the continued success of the company,” Troy said, according to American Rifleman. “We are excited to begin this new venture and appreciate all the support we have already received from Rep. Mark Green, Gov. Bill Lee and the state of Tennessee in making this relocation possible.”

Gov. Lee called Troy’s decision to move to Tennessee a testament to the state’s “business-friendly climate and skilled workforce.”

“I appreciate Troy for choosing to relocate to Tennessee and am proud to partner with this world-renowned firearms manufacturer,” Gov. Lee said. “When companies pick Tennessee to locate or expand their operations, it is a vote of confidence to our state’s business-friendly climate and skilled workforce. I thank Troy for this investment and the creation of new jobs for Tennesseans.”