BOSTON (CBS) – Smith & Wesson, one of the oldest gun manufacturers in the country, announced Thursday it is moving operations from Springfield to Tennessee due to proposed gun laws in Massachusetts.
The company plans to move to Maryville, Tenn. In 2023 after being based in Springfield since it was founded in 1852.
"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," President and CEO Mark Smith said.
Smith said proposed legislation in Massachusetts would prevent the company from making certain kinds of guns.
"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 2nd Amendment rights, protecting themselves and their families, and enjoying the shooting sports," Smith said. "While we are hopeful that this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session, 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."
Smith said the company vetted several cities before deciding to move its headquarters, which includes 750 jobs, to Maryville.
As part of the move, Smith & Wesson will close Connecticut and Missouri facilities as well, consolidating the number of locations from four to three.
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