Massachusetts lawmakers face scrutiny for departure of Smith & Wesson

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts legislature is being blamed for Smith & Wesson’s departure from the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country due to the stance state lawmakers have taken on gun control, but now they face new scrutiny as a large employer blames them for their exit. Back in 2004, Republican Governor Mitt Romney signed an assault weapons ban into law.

Since then, assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines have been banned from being bought or sold in Massachusetts. Companies like Smith & Wesson have been operating under what legislators refer to as a “loophole” in the current law, which allows them to manufacture assault weapons and ship them off to other states.

Lawmakers decided to close that loophole and make it illegal to manufacture one of Smith & Wesson’s most popular products.

“Well, you know regardless of your view on gun control it’s terrible news for the families that are impacted you know, hundreds of families who relied on these jobs, they were good stable, well-paying jobs that are moving to Tennessee,” said Sen. Eric Lesser, (D) Longmeadow.

Mark Smith, president, and CEO at Smith & Wesson, said the state left the company no other alternative. He added that the products currently being produced here are used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day.

Lawmakers say they would like to see Smith and Wesson change its mind about leaving, but they’re not willing to change the state’s gun laws to accommodate them.

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