Bye bye Springfield: after some 170 years, Smith & Wesson have announced that they will be relocating their headquarters from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Tennessee in the mid-2020s. The reason? The legislation recently proposed in Massachusetts by Governor Charlie Baker and the State’s legislature 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,” Mark Smith, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, explains in a press release.
“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.”
“We are left with no choice but to relocate these functions to a state that does not propose burdensome restrictions on our company,” Smith adds.
Massachusetts loses 750 jobs: another “great success” of anti-gun politics
This also means to relocate 750 jobs to Tennessee. According to Smith, the key factors in the decision included “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 & Wesson’s new headquarters. We would like to specifically thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the 2nd Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business friendly environment.”
The press release also says that Smith & Wesson will close facilities in Connecticut and Missouri as part of consolidating in Tennessee. “This process will result in the company reducing the number of locations it maintains from four to three and will significantly streamline its manufacturing and distribution operations.” In any case, the move “will not begin until 2023 and will not have an impact on employees’ jobs until then”.
Smith & Wesson will assist any affected employee “who is willing and able to move with financial and logistical relocation assistance,” while those employees who can't move will be offered enhanced severance and job placement services.
All in all, another “great success” of anti-gun politics. Will some politicians ever learn the lesson?