BOSTON, Massachusetts: Gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson, having been located in the northeast for 165 years, is moving to the southern United States.
Founded in 1856, Smith and Wesson will move its headquarters from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Maryville, Tennessee.
"The strong support we have received from the state of Tennessee and the entire leadership of Blount County throughout this process, combined with the quality of life, outdoor lifestyle and low cost of living in the Greater Knoxville area, has left no doubt that Tennessee is the ideal location for Smith and Wesson’s new headquarters," said CEO Mark Smith in a statement.
Due to anti-gun legislation, Massachusetts has made it increasingly difficult for Smith and Wesson to operate. He made mention of Massachusetts’ "arbitrary and damaging" legislation, saying certain gun policies under consideration in Massachusetts "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 percent 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 said.
Smith and Wesson will bring 750 jobs to Tennessee and is an investment valued at $125 million, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Blount County, where Smith and Wesson is relocating to, became a "Second Amendment Sanctuary" in 2019 after its commission passed a policy to support gun ownership.