In a move that will surely make my colleagues Jeff Charles and Ward Clark happy, renowned firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson ditched deep blue Massachusetts and moved its headquarters to friendlier pastures in Tennessee. Although the move was announced in 2021, it was on Saturday that the company officially opened its new 650,000-square feet building in Marysville as part of a $125 million relocation effort.
The company has been in New England since its founding in 1852, but Massachusetts’ strict gun laws are at least partly to blame for their exodus:
The gunmaker had been located in Springfield, Massachusetts, since the mid-19th century, but company officials have said legislative proposals in that state would prohibit them from manufacturing certain weapons. Massachusetts is known to have some of the country’s strictest gun laws.
I’m sure the high taxes didn’t help either; there’s a reason some call the state “Taxachusetts.” It’s also certainly not a coincidence that Tennessee is far friendlier to law-abiding gun owners than Mass.:
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.”
He cited a welcoming regulatory environment and close collaboration with the Tennessee state government as a crucial piece of the plan to relocate. The company has said the new facility would create hundreds of jobs.
Tennessee has moved to loosen gun restrictions in recent years under Republican leadership. In 2021, the state passed a law to allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns without a permit that requires first clearing a state-level background check and training.
The National Rifle Association applauded the move and congratulated the company on their ribbon-cutting ceremony:
“Congratulations to Smith & Wesson on their grand opening in Tennessee. This move is a testament to their enduring legacy, their commitment to firearm excellence, and to the importance of preserving America’s gun industry and Second Amendment rights in a fair environment,” NRA Executive Director of Advancement Tyler Schropp told Fox News Digital in an exclusive comment.
As part of the opening day ceremonies, guns were naturally fired, and shooter Jerry Miculek set a world record:
Yesterday at Smith & Wesson’s new headquarters in Tennessee, Jerry Miculek set the #NRA World Record for hitting six steel plates with a 9 mm revolver at seven yards after a 1.88-second run. Congratulations, Jerry! @Smith_WessonInc #shootingsports #CompetitiveShooting pic.twitter.com/30xjv6uAEL— Shooting Sports USA (@SSUSA_Magazine) October 7, 2023
This is how it’s done, folks. If a state is treating a company badly, they should get the heck out of dodge and relocate to where they’re appreciated. California Gov. Gavin Newsom knows this all too well, as dozens of corporations have headed for the exits during his disastrous tenure. The full list is lengthy, but here are just who have fled the Golden State in just the last three years: McAfee (cybersecurity), Boingo Wireless, American Airlines (flight attendant base), Chevron, Tesla, Charles Schwab, Oracle…
Nice shot, Smith & Wesson.