September 30th, 2021

Smith & Wesson Will Move Headquarters to Tennessee

smith wesson massachusetts Tennessee second amendment factory headquarters move

Big news in the gun industry. Smith & Wesson (S&W) announced today it will move its headquarters out of Massachusetts and relocate in Tennessee. In addition, a large share of S&W’s manufacturing operations will be transferred from Massachusetts to the Second Amendment-friendly state of Tennessee. Smith & Wesson will also shut down facilities in Connecticut and Missouri, in connection with the Tennessee relocation.

The main reason for the move was recent anti-gun legislation in Massachusetts. According to Fox News: “The legislation, if enacted, would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing products that accounted for more than 60% of its revenue last year.” Specifically, pending bill SD. 2588 (“An Act to Stop Mass Shootings”) would bar the manufacturing of “any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device”.

When the process is complete, S&W will have just three manufacturing and distribution facilities in the USA. S&W will continue to make revolvers in Massachusetts, however, and S&W Operations in Holton, Maine will continue without change. Approximately 1000 S&W jobs will remain in Massachusetts after the move. But 750 jobs will be re-located to the new S&W headquarters/production center in Maryville, Tennessee. The move is slated to take place in 2023 at an estimated cost of $138,000,000 to build new facilities and transfer tooling/machinery.

Smith & Wesson Massachusetts
Manufacture of most S&W semi-auto rifles and pistols will be moved out of Massachusetts.

Fox Business noted that restrictive, Democratic Party-sponsored legislation in Massachusetts is compelling S&W to leave: “Gun maker Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. will relocate its headquarters to Tennessee next year due to proposed firearms legislation in its home state of Massachusetts. The legislation, if enacted, would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing products that accounted for more than 60% of its revenue last year.” Smith & Wesson was founded in Connecticut in 1856, and has been headquartered in Springfield Massachusetts for most of its 165 years of operation. Smith & Wesson was founded by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson as the “Smith & Wesson Revolver Company” in 1856.

A S&W press release cited these key factors in the decision to move:

1. Support for the Second Amendment
2. Business friendly environment
3. Quality of life for employees
4. Cost of living and affordability
5. Access to higher education institutions
6. Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions
7. Favorable location for efficiency of distribution

Recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state. Mark Smith, S&W CEO/President said:

“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. 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 Second 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 percent 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 further praised Tennessee’s leaders: “The strong support we have received from the State of Tennessee… 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 Second Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business-friendly environment.”

S&W’s Tennessee factory and headquarters construction will commence in the 4th quarter of this year and is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

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