Smith & Wesson To Relocate Headquarters To Tennessee


Storied firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson announced Thursday it would be relocating from its Springfield,
Mass., facility to Maryville, Tenn. — a $120 million investment bringing 750 jobs to the Volunteer State.

Sept. 30, Smith & Wesson announced it would be moving its headquarters and “significant elements of its operations” to Maryville, Tenn., in 2023. Based in Springfield, Mass., since the company was incorporated in 1852, Smith & Wesson joins an ever-growing list of firearms manufacturers relocating out of gun-restrictive states to “free” states in recent years — including Kahr Arms (New York to Pennsylvania), Beretta USA (Maryland to Tennessee), Weatherby (California to Wyoming), Stag Arms (Connecticut to Wyoming), Kimber Mfg. Inc. (New York to Alabama) and Troy Industries (Massachusetts to Tennessee).

A bill introduced earlier this year in Massachusetts proposing a ban on the production of AR-style rifles and high-capacity magazines — which represented 60% of S&W’s revenue last year — provided the impetus behind this significant decision to relocate, according to Mark Smith, S&W president and CEO.

“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 have been left with no other alternative,” Smith said. “These bills would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America and are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day. While we are hopeful this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session … the unfortunate likelihood such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson.”

“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 have been left with no other alternative.”

Mark Smith, President & CEO, Smith & Wesson

Smith indicated the company vetted a number of cities and states, and the support received from Tennessee was instrumental in the decision-making process.

“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,” he said. “We would like to specifically thank Gov. [Bill] 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.”

The company emphasized the move will not begin until 2023, and will not have an impact on employees’ jobs until then.

“We are making this announcement now to ensure each employee has the time to make the decision that is right for them and their families. We’re firmly committed to working on an individual level with each and every one of those who will be affected,” Smith added.

A bill introduced earlier this year in the Massachusetts State Legislature that would ban the
production of AR-style rifles, like the M&P 15T II pictured here, provided the relocation push.
Sales of these rifles made up over 60% of S&W’s revenue last year.

Relocation Ramifications

S&W will relocate 750 jobs to Maryville and close facilities in Deep River, Conn., and Columbia, Mo., as part of its consolidation in Tennessee, which will reduce the number of locations it maintains from four to three.

Some of S&W’s manufacturing operations will remain in Springfield’s reconfigured facility, including all forging, machining, metal finishing and assembly of revolvers — which will be staffed by more than 1,000 employees.

Construction in Maryville is expected to begin Q4 2021, and be substantially complete by summer 2023. The new facility will house the company’s headquarters, plastic injection molding, pistol and long-gun assembly and distribution arm. Total investment in the project is estimated at $120 million, funded from cash on hand.

With the new facility able to accommodate both S&W’s plastic injection molding and distribution businesses in one location, S&W will sell its Deep River injection molding facility (which services both S&W and a number of external customers) and market its Columbia distribution facility for sublease. The relocation will have no impact on the company’s operations in Houlton, Maine.

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