Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. plans to move its headquarters and "significant elements of its operations" to Maryville, Tenn., in 2023. The new facility will be include the company’s headquarters, plastic injection molding, pistol and long gun assembly, and distribution.
More than 750 jobs will move from multiple S&W facilities to Maryville, Tenn. Total investment in the project is estimated at $120 million, which will be funded from cash on hand.
According to a S&W press release, key factors in the decision to move included the following:
Support for the Second Amendment
Business friendly environment
Quality of life for employees
Cost of living and affordability
Access to higher education institutions
Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions
Favorable location for efficiency of distribution
Recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state. Mark Smith, president and chief executive officer, said:
“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. 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. While we are hopeful that this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session, these products made up over 60 percent 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 & Wesson will also close facilities in Connecticut and Missouri as part of consolidating in Tennessee. This process will result in the company reducing the number of locations it maintains from four to three and will significantly streamline its manufacturing and distribution operations.
Smith & Wesson will keep some of its manufacturing operations in Springfield, Mass., including all forging, machining, metal finishing and assembly of revolvers, and will continue to have over 1,000 employees in the state.
The company looks forward to the move. Smith added:
“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. We would like to specifically thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the Second Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business friendly environment.”
Construction in Maryville, Tenn., is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 and be substantially complete by the summer of 2023. The relocation will have no impact on the company’s operations in Houlton, Maine.