One of the largest manufacturers of guns in the world and a major Western Mass employer announced they are getting out of Dodge…at least a major part of the operation.

Smith & Wesson announced today they are moving their headquarters and a major part of their production facility to Tennessee in 2023.  A major reason for the exit from Springfield is the proposed Massachusetts law that would ban the company from making assault-style weapons and handguns.

The news will hit Western Mass in the pocketbook as S&W is expected to lay off 550 workers from their Springfield plant and keep about 1,000 jobs primarily in the metal cutting and precision manufacturing departments.

In a statement released by the company’s president and CEO Mark Smith today, “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.”  The bill to ban assault-style weaponry is backed by state Representative Bud Williams who represents the district Smith & Wesson is located.

The town of Maryville Tennessee will be home to the new S&W headquarters and facility.  CEO Smith cited the strong support by the town, county, and state throughout the process.  In the statement by Smith, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution was cited a number of times.

In a MoneyTalks News article in 2018 Smith & Wesson was listed as the #1-gun manufacturer in the U.S.  They reported sales in 2017 at $773 million and quoted a Mother Jones report that had production numbers in 2016 at 1.3 million guns for the U.S. market alone.  The numbers since that article was posted have increased.

In addition to the Springfield location, according to the MoneyTalksNews article S&W also has facilities in Houlton, Maine, and Deep River, Connecticut.

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