One of the country’s oldest gun manufacturers, Smith & Wesson, will move its headquarters from Massachusetts to Tennessee, the company announced Thursday.
In a news release, the company cited a “changing business climate for firearms manufacturing in Massachusetts,” and said it would leave its home of 170 years for a state which will not jeopardize its ability to manufacture quality firearms.
The company recently began seeking an escape from its historic home in New England over the state’s lawmakers and their liberal language in proposed bills about firearms, the news release stated. After nailing down criteria for a new state as a landing spot, the company began to look.
President and CEO Mark Smith said the company finally decided on Maryville, Tennessee, a suburb of Knoxville, as a place to relocate its headquarters and 750 jobs. Smith, per the company, made the decision over “legislation recently proposed in Massachusetts that, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state.”
The company has been headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, since 1850. Smith and the company said the location there will remain open in some capacity.