SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson announced Thursday that they will be moving their headquarters and a large amount of their operations to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023.

“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,” said Mark Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Wesson.

Smith said recent proposed legislation in Massachusetts would prevent the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the Commonwealth, which is more than 60 percent of their revenue.

“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. 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,” said Smith.

Smith & Wesson relocating headquarters to Tennessee

The Springfield location will remain operational but will be reconfigured. Several manufacturing operations will remain in Springfield, including forging, machining, metal finishing and assembling revolvers. Smith & Wesson will still have more than 1,000 employees in the state. The company expects roughly 750 jobs will be relocated from Springfield, Connecticut and Missouri to Maryville, Tennessee.

The company says they will also close facilities in Connecticut and Missouri when they make the move in 2023. Smith & Wesson has been based in Springfield since 1852.

Related Smith & Wesson stories on WWLP.com

Mayor Sarno releases statement:

“President and CEO Mark Smith had reached out to me to inform of Smith & Wesson’s decision to relocate 550 Springfield based jobs to their Tennessee manufacturing facility. This is devastating news to the 550 employees and their families who will be losing their jobs. My number one priority will be to assist these employees and their families in any way we possibly can. I will be working with my staff and coordinating with state officials to discuss ways in which we can offer workforce placement assistance and/or retraining aspects to assist every one of these employees and their families. In addition, we will continue to work with Smith & Wesson to retain the 1,000 remaining jobs here in Springfield. In my discussions with President and CEO Mark Smith, he has assured me that their goal is to keep these remaining 1,000 jobs here in Springfield. I will continue to work with them in any way possible to attain that goal.”

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

Statement from Senator Eric Lesser:

“Regardless of one’s personal views on gun control, this move is bad news for the hundreds of families who will lose stable, well-paying jobs. Looking forward, I’ve already begun conversations with relevant public and private sector leaders about suitable reuse of the space and ways to assist the 550 impacted employees through training, job placement, and other means. It is my hope that the location remains vibrant and in keeping with the proud manufacturing tradition of our region.”

Senator Eric Lesser