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Smith & Wesson moves from New England to Tennessee.

Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers and designers of firearms, has officially⁤ opened its new headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee—making the move from a state with one ‌of the strictest gun laws to a state with considerable freedoms for gun⁣ owners.

The ⁤grand opening event comes after an announcement in 2021 that the company would be relocating from Springfield, Massachusetts, in⁢ a move that involves an investment of approximately $125 million and⁤ the ⁣creation of 750 new​ jobs in Blount County, immediately south of Knoxville.

The grand opening represents not just a new chapter for ‌the leading U.S.-based firearms manufacturer⁤ but also underscores ​Tennessee’s growing prominence as a hub for the firearms and ammunition sector.

The⁣ state ranks number one in the nation⁣ for ‍employment in the small arms and ammunition sector, with employment increasing by 54 percent⁢ over the last five years, the Tennessee⁤ Department of Economic and Community Development said at the time‌ the move was announced.

While state and local officials welcome the⁣ company with open arms, some are concerned about the state’s growing role in the arms-manufacturing industry—protesting the company’s ribbon ‍cutting last‍ weekend.

A New Era Begins

The company’s new state-of-the-art headquarters, boasting⁤ 650,000-square feet, was inaugurated with much fanfare, reflecting its significant ⁣investment in both its future and the state of Tennessee.

The company has been located in‌ Springfield since the 1800s, but company​ officials said in announcing the move that legislative proposals in Massachusetts would have harmed their business by banning the manufacturing of certain weapons. The state has some of the country’s strictest gun laws, while ‌the opposite is true for Tennessee.

Smith & Wesson President ​and CEO Mark Smith spoke at the event Saturday, which drew a large crowd to the new facility, The Daily Times reported.

“From where I stand, the next ‌170 years of Smith & Wesson are looking pretty good,” Smith⁣ said. “It is something special here in Tennessee.”

At the time of the announcement, Mr. Smith said the decision was forced‍ on the company due to proposed legislation.

An attendee walks through the Smith and ​Wesson booth during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown⁢ Convention Center in Houston, Texas, on May⁣ 3, 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty ​Images)

“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,” he said in a press ⁤release then. “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.”

He added Tennessee’s leadership were‌ a main reason for the move due to their‌ welcoming of their business.

“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,” Mr. Smith said in‌ 2021.

Broader Context

While the grand‍ opening focuses⁢ on ‌a⁤ new beginning in Tennessee, it’s ‍noteworthy that this move was a part of a broader strategic shift for Smith⁢ & Wesson.

Initially announced in September 2021, the company opted ⁢to ​relocate from⁢ Springfield, citing Tennessee’s pro-business⁤ environment,⁤ skilled workforce, and alignment with Second Amendment values as key factors.

“Our pro-business reputation, skilled workforce,⁤ and commitment to the Second Amendment ​make Tennessee an ideal location for firearms manufacturing,” Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, said at the time the move was announced ”We welcome Smith & Wesson to The Volunteer State and ⁤are proud this U.S.-based brand has chosen to relocate from Massachusetts.”

The addition of ​Smith & Wesson to the Tennessee community is not merely ​an economic gain; it also has cultural and social implications.

Blount County and the state at⁢ large have shown strong support ​for ​the Second Amendment, and the arrival of a major firearms ⁣manufacturer amplifies this stance.

“Tennessee is known by the brands that call our state home, and Smith & Wesson adds​ an enormous ​boost to our⁢ portfolio,” said Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, back in 2021. “We know that Smith & Wesson could have chosen anywhere in the world to‌ relocate‌ its​ operations and headquarters, and the ⁣fact⁢ they chose Tennessee underscores‍ our state’s business-friendly environment and highly skilled workforce.”

Some Protest

A group protested ​the opening of‌ the facility over the​ weekend, according to Knoxville CBS ⁢affiliate WVLT.

“It’s‍ hard to⁢ welcome a⁤ company to Tennessee that’s going to ultimately lead in‌ Tennesseans, volunteers, creating weapons that are used against other Tennesseans,” said⁢ Anna Caudill, one of the protestors, according to WVLT.

She told the outlet she​ made the trip from⁢ Nashville and that it ⁤was personal for her because one of her friends⁤ died in the Covenant School shooting in March.

“I hope, now that they’re here, that Smith & Wesson will at least reach out and find out what they can do ⁤to repair and to⁢ do better,” Caudill said, according to⁢ the outlet.

Mr. Smith said he doesn’t​ mind people in the local community opposing⁣ the ⁤headquarters,⁤ the outlet reported.

“We fully respect everybody’s rights, all their constitutional ⁢rights, and​ the First Amendment’s one of​ their constitutional rights,” Mr. Smith said. “That’s one of the beautiful things about ⁣this country, is that we’re free to disagree with each other.”

Looking Ahead

As Smith & Wesson begins operations in its⁤ new headquarters, attention is now turning to the ‌company’s future contributions to the‍ local ‌economy ⁣and ​how it will integrate into the social fabric ⁤of the state.

The​ company, ‍founded in 1852, brings with it a rich history and a wide array of products, from handguns and long guns to handcuffs and suppressors.

What ​impact does Smith &⁢ Wesson Brands, Inc.’s presence in Tennessee ⁣have on the state’s economy and job ​creation

Anfare⁢ and celebration. The event marked the beginning‌ of a new era ⁣for Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., as they now operate from their brand​ new facility ‍in​ Maryville, Tennessee.

The decision to relocate the headquarters from Springfield, Massachusetts‌ to Tennessee was not​ made lightly. It involved a substantial investment of $125 million and the creation ⁣of ⁣750 new jobs in Blount County. The move⁣ was driven‌ by several⁣ factors, including Tennessee’s favorable⁣ business‍ environment, lower taxes, and the ⁣state’s reputation as a hub for the firearms and ammunition⁤ industry.

Tennessee ‌has long been recognized for its support of the Second Amendment and‌ its commitment ⁤to⁣ protecting the rights of‌ gun‍ owners.⁤ The state’s gun laws are among the least restrictive in the ‍country,⁣ providing considerable freedoms for gun owners. ⁢This​ has ⁢attracted firearms manufacturers, retailers, and enthusiasts to the ⁤area, ⁢contributing to ⁢the growth ‌of the industry.

The grand opening‌ event was attended by state ​and local officials, as well⁤ as representatives⁤ from the firearms ⁣industry. It served as a testament to Tennessee’s growing prominence as a center ​for the small arms and ammunition sector.⁢ The⁣ state ranks number one ⁤in ⁤the nation for employment in ⁢this ‌industry, ⁢with ⁢a 54 ‍percent⁢ increase in employment ​over ‍the past five years, according to the Tennessee Department ⁤of Economic and Community Development.

However, not everyone is supportive ‌of Tennessee’s role in the‍ arms-manufacturing industry. Some protesters expressed their concerns about the impact ⁣of ‌this industry on ⁢public safety and the state’s reputation. Nevertheless, state and⁣ local officials stand by their decision to welcome Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. and view the ⁤company’s presence⁤ as an opportunity for economic growth and‌ job creation.

The new headquarters in Maryville is a state-of-the-art facility, spanning over 650,000 square feet. It is equipped with the latest technology, allowing for efficient‌ and advanced firearms production and design. The company’s commitment to innovation ‍and excellence is evident in their investment in this modern facility, ⁤which will support their continued leadership in the ‍industry.

In conclusion, the grand opening ⁣of Smith⁢ & Wesson‍ Brands, Inc.’s new headquarters in Tennessee marks a significant milestone for ⁤the‌ company and highlights Tennessee’s growing prominence in the ⁣firearms and ammunition sector. The move represents a strategic decision to leverage the state’s business-friendly ⁢environment and favorable gun laws. With ⁤their state-of-the-art facility and commitment to excellence, Smith & Wesson ⁤Brands, Inc. is poised ‍to continue⁤ their​ success as a leading manufacturer and designer of firearms.



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