After more than a hundred and fifty years in Massachusetts, iconic gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson is moving its headquarters to Tennessee in order to escape new anti-gun legislation that would cost the company approximately sixty percent of its annual revenue.
“In order to preserve future jobs and for the viability of our business in the long term, we are left with no choice but to relocate these functions to a state that does not propose burdensome restrictions on our company," Smith & Wesson President and CEO Mark Smith said Thursday in a statement.
Smith attributed move to Massachusetts lawmakers’ legislation that would outlaw manufacture of products vital to the company’s survival:
“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."
“Upwards of 750 jobs will move from Springfield, Massachusetts,” the company says.
And, while it will leave one facility in Massachusetts, the company will relocate distribution, assembly and plastic injection molding operations to Tennessee – turning Tennessee into the nation’s top employer in the firearm and ammunition manufacturing industry.
"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," Smith said.
Even if the current legislation is defeated, “the unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson," Smith said.