Smith & Wesson is an iconic American gun manufacturer. Their firearms are a standard issue for law enforcement and respected around the world. Their .44 Magnum still gets a nod of respect and many of their other models are top tier firearms.
The company began in 1850 with its main location in Springfield, Massachusetts and since then, that’s been its headquarters. However, all that is now changing with Smith & Wesson announcing it will be moving away from New England.
Where is Smith & Wesson Moving?
Smith & Wesson will be moving to a new location very near Knoxville, Tennessee. The cost of the move is going to be $125 million and it is expected to create 750 new jobs in the Knoxville area. Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith said the choice to move has been “difficult” and “emotional.”
However, they are firmly convinced a move to Tennessee will spell a much more positive future for their company. In fact, Smith said they have “no other alternative.” The main reasons are Tennessee is more “business-friendly” and also has strong support for the Second Amendment.
Massachusetts, by contrast, is a deep blue state that’s full of endless red tape, along with more and more laws that make life hard for gun owners and gun manufacturers.
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.
Keep up the good work TNECD!https://t.co/LD5zxeabW8
— Representative Rebecca Alexander (@RepAlexander7) September 30, 2021
More Reasons for the Move to Tennessee
Smith said there are additional reasons the move to Tennessee makes sense for Smith & Wesson. The area will be more enjoyable for workers to live in; it has a better average cost of housing and necessities and is much better located to distribute across the country and for regional distribution hubs.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts has specific laws which are set to hit gun manufacturers. This is including a new law that would ban manufactures of 60% of Smith & Wesson’s product line and completely turn their business model upside down. As CEO Smith said, “burdensome regulations” are not something they can stomach going forward.
A whopping 23 million guns got sold in America in 2020; 20% of those sales went to people who were buying a firearm for the first time. Smith & Wesson could be on the cusp of growing even more, and thanks to this smart move, they may have saved the company.
The move to Tennessee will take place in 2023; however, CEO Smith said he wanted to let people get used to the idea and get ready for it. For their part, the city of Springfield is crushed and saddened by the decision, calling it “devastating.”
BREAKING: @Smith_WessonInc, the U.S.-based leader in firearms manufacturing and design, will relocate its headquarters and other major operations from Springfield, Massachusetts to Maryville, Tennessee, investing roughly $125M and creating 750 new jobs.https://t.co/Xk16rqroIg pic.twitter.com/6WmtmE0LgQ
— TNECD (@TNECD) September 30, 2021
Other Consequences of the Move
Another effect of this move is Smith & Wesson shutting down manufacturing facilities in Missouri and Connecticut. A few production facilities will stay in Springfield, but the bulk of the company will move. The new HQ in Tennessee will be under construction by the end of 2021.