Congratulations to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the Bay State’s legislature. They’ve finally succeeded in driving 750 additional jobs out of their state. Today, Smith & Wesson announced they will move their corporate headquarters to Tennessee. Why? As S&W put it, they’re clearing out “Due to changing business climate for firearms manufacturing in Massachusetts.”
Massachusetts has reveled in making life difficult for gun makers and owners for generations now. The Bay State’s legislators keep adding rules and regulations upon the law-abiding. Of course, criminals ignore these with impunity.
As for carrying a gun in Massachusetts? Like my crime-free home state of Illinois (cough), Massachusetts recognizes no other state’s carry licenses. In fact, Massachusetts isn’t even a “shall issue” state. For now, at least.
Now, Smith & Wesson has finally had enough of their home state’s anti-gun laws, burdensome government regulations, and high taxes. The iconic American brand, which has been based in Massachusetts since the middle of the 19th century, will be moving to Maryville, Tennessee in Blount County a Second Amendment sanctuary county.
S&W announced it today in a press release at PRNEwswire:
Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Select: SWBI), 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. Smith & Wesson has been based in Springfield, Massachusetts since the company was incorporated in 1852.
Mark Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “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.” He specifically cited legislation recently proposed in Massachusetts that, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state. “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, 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% 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 indicated that the company vetted a number of cities and states and, after careful consideration, made the decision to relocate 750 jobs and its headquarters to Maryville, Tennessee. The key factors in the decision included the following:
- Support for the 2nd Amendment
- Business friendly environment
- Quality of life for employees
- Cost of living and affordability
- Access to higher education institutions
- Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions
- Favorable location for efficiency of distribution
Tennessee will no doubt roll out the red carpet to such a well-known American brand, along with the 750 jobs it will bring to the Volunteer State.
And the move will leave Massachusetts with fewer good paying jobs, one less famous company based in the state and significant hole in their tax base.