Citing bills, Smith & Wesson moving HQ
Proposed legislation would bar manufacture of guns that can't be sold here
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
FIREARM MANUFACTURER Smith & Wesson announced Thursday that it will move its headquarters and “significant elements of its operations” from Springfield to Maryville, Tenn., citing a greater embrace of Second Amendment rights and a more favorable business environment in the Volunteer State.
The move, which will take place in 2023, will affect “upwards” of 750 jobs in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Missouri, though the company said it expects to keep more than 1,000 employees in Massachusetts, which has been its home since its 1852 incorporation. All forging, machining, metal finishing, and revolver assembly will continue to take place in Massachusetts, the company announced.
Smith & Wesson President and CEO Mark Smith said he was concerned about legislation proposed on Beacon Hill that would prohibit his company and others from manufacturing certain types of guns and accessories, including assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, covered under the state’s existing ban on their purchase and possession.
“Regardless of one’s personal views on gun control, this move is bad news for the hundreds of families who will lose stable, well-paying jobs,” Sen. Eric Lesser, who represents parts of Springfield, said. “Looking forward, I’ve already begun conversations with relevant public and private sector leaders about suitable reuse of the space and ways to assist the 550 impacted employees through training, job placement, and other means. It is my hope that the location remains vibrant and in keeping with the proud manufacturing tradition of our region.”