NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson plans to relocate its headquarters from Massachusetts in a $125 million investment expected to create 750 jobs in Tennessee.
The company founded in 1852 is currently centered in Springfield, Massachusetts. Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development says Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. is moving its headquarters, distribution, assembly and plastic injection molding operations to Maryville.
Nexstar station WATE reports that the company’s move to Tennessee is in response to recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts would prevent the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the Commonwealth — firearms that account for 60% of the company’s revenue.
“This has been an extremely difficult and emotional decision for us, but after an exhaustive and thorough analysis, for the continued health and strength of our iconic company, we feel that we have been left with no other alternative,” said Mark Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Wesson.
“These bills 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,” said Smith in a press release. “The unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson.”
Groundbreaking is planned before the end of the year.
The gunmaker will have company: Tennessee officials say the state is home to more than 20 small arms and ammunition manufacturers.