Gunmaker Smith & Wesson Brands Inc.
moves its headquarters from Massachusetts to Tennessee, joining other gun manufacturers who have moved from the mid-Atlantic and northeast to the southern states with less restrictive gun laws.
The company will invest more than $ 125 million to move its headquarters and some operations from Springfield, Massachusetts, where it has been based for generations, to Blount County, Tenn., Near Knoxville. It will create 750 jobs in the area, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
The falling cost of living was a factor in the move, chief executive Mark Smith said in a statement. He thanked Republican Gov. Bill Lee and the GOP-dominated legislature “for their unwavering support for the Second Amendment and for creating a welcoming and business-friendly environment.”
The company did not respond to emails seeking further comment. Officials in Springfield, Mass., Could not immediately be reached for comment.
The company will keep some of the production in Springfield, according to a person familiar with the move.
Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson founded their company in the 1850s in New England. Smith & Wesson, which was eventually based in Springfield, made some of the best-known firearms in American history, including the Smith & Wesson Model 29, known as the .44 Magnum. The company supplied firearms and other equipment to the military and many police departments.
Smith & Wesson plans to open the new headquarters by the end of the year.
The company’s announcement comes after a period of record gun sales in the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread civil unrest in 2020 and an outbreak of violence in many cities.
—Zusha Elinson contributed to this article.
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