Page 14 - BusinessWest October 13, 2021
P. 14

The Shot Heard ’Round the Region
Smith & Wesson’s Decision to Relocate Reverberates Through Western Mass.
Smith & Wesson’s recently announced plan to move its Springfield operations to Tennessee came as a shock to many — the 165-year-old company has been part of the city’s fabric, and the region’s rich manufacturing history, for generations. Amid questions about the gunmaker’s reasons for moving — the company cites proposed state legislation targeting its products, while some elected officials say it’s more a case of corporate welfare and a better deal down south — the most immediate concerns involve about
550 jobs to be lost. The silver
lining is that, with some
concerted effort, most
of those individuals
should be able to find
other work locally
in a manufacturing
landscape that
sorely needs the
IBy George O’Brien
n the wake of the announcement that Smith & Wesson will be mov- ing its corporate headquarters from Springfield to Maryville, Tenn., questions and discussions have arisen on many levels.
These concern everything from how and when this decision came about to how aggressive Tennessee was in courting this major employer,
to whether there were any major deciding factors in that decision beyond what has been stated repeatedly by the company — specifically, proposed state legislation that would ban the manufacture of most of the automatic weapons now made by Smith & Wesson.
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