Goodbye Massachusetts; Hello Tennessee!

An alternate title could be “How to Drive A 165 Year Old Business Out of Your State in Order to Appear Woke”.

What I’m referring to is the decision by Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. to relocate their headquarters and a significant part of their firearms manufacturing from Springfield, Massachusetts to Maryville, Tennessee. While they will have a number of jobs left in Massachusetts, they expect to have over 750 jobs in Maryville with employees relocating from their operation Massachusetts, Missouri, and Connecticut. The move comes due to proposed anti-gun legislation in Massachusetts.

SCCY Firearms had proposed moving much of their operations to Maryville but last year decided to expand in Daytona Beach, Florida instead. They closed their Maryville plant. I wonder if S&W will be using any part of that.

As a resident on the other side of the Smokies, I say welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains.

The full announcement is below:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. , one of the nation’s oldest firearms manufacturers, announced today that it is moving its headquarters and significant elements of its operations to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023.   Smith & Wesson has been based in Springfield, Massachusetts since the company was incorporated in 1852.

Smith & Wesson Logo (PRNewsFoto/Smith & Wesson)


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.”  He specifically cited legislation recently proposed in Massachusetts that, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state. “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% 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 indicated that the company vetted a number of cities and states and, after careful consideration, made the decision to relocate 750 jobs and its headquarters to Maryville, Tennessee.  The key factors in the decision included the following:

  • Support for the 2nd 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

Smith continued, “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 2nd Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business friendly environment.”

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.

The company emphasized that the move will not begin until 2023 and will not have an impact on employees’ jobs until then.  “Our loyal employees are the reason for our success and are always our number one priority. We are deeply saddened by the impact that this difficult decision will have on so many of our dedicated employees, but in order to preserve future jobs and for the viability of our business in the long term, we are left with no choice but to relocate these functions to a state that does not propose burdensome restrictions on our company.” Smith said. “We are making this announcement now to ensure that each employee has the time to make the decision that is right for them and their families. We are firmly committed to working on an individual level with each and every one of those who will be affected. We will assist any affected employee who is willing and able to move with financial and logistical relocation assistance. However, we also fully realize that this is simply not feasible for some. Therefore, for any affected employee who cannot move with us, we will offer enhanced severance and job placement services. We understand that this announcement will be very difficult for our employees, and we will do everything we can to assist them during this transition,” Smith said. All employees whose jobs are moved will be given these offers.

Key Facts:

  • The facility in Springfield, Massachusetts will be reconfigured but will remain operational.
  • Smith & Wesson will keep some of its manufacturing operations in Springfield, Massachusetts, including all forging, machining, metal finishing, and assembly of revolvers, and will continue to have over 1,000 employees in the state.
  • The new facility will be built in Maryville, Tennessee and will comprise of the company’s headquarters, plastic injection molding, pistol and long gun assembly, and distribution.
  • Total investment in the project is estimated at $120 million, will be funded from cash on hand, and is expected to be accretive to EPS by $0.10 to $0.12 per year once fully operational.
  • Construction in Maryville, Tennessee is expected to begin in the calendar fourth quarter of 2021 and be substantially complete by the summer of 2023.
  • Upwards of 750 jobs will move from Springfield, Massachusetts; Deep River, Connecticut; and Columbia, Missouri to Maryville, Tennessee.
  • The company’s plastic injection molding facility in Deep River, Connecticut, which services both Smith & Wesson as well as a significant number of external customers, will be sold. The Smith & Wesson portion of the operations will be moved to the new facility in Maryville, Tennessee, however, the external customer business will remain in Connecticut and will be divested.
  • The company’s distribution operations in Columbia, Missouri will be moved to the new facility in Maryville, Tennessee, and the Columbia, Missouri facility will be marketed for sublease.
  • The relocation will have no impact on the company’s operations in Houlton, Maine.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Massachusetts To Missouri

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Continuing on with my series of posts detailing the position of the individual state Democratic Parties on firearms, we move on to a quintuplet of “M” states.


The Massachusetts Democratic Party platform actually has very little in it regarding firearms. My supposition is that it was created in 2017 before red flag laws came into vogue and, perhaps more tellingly, because Massachusetts already so much gun control.

From the platform adopted in 2017:

Preventing gun violence through universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and
high-capacity magazines.

This was from the section entitled, “Public Safety and Crime Prevention”, which deals more with the militarization of the police, community policing and corrections, and the like.


The Michigan Democratic Party platform calls for “common sense gun safety” which must be the dog whistle code words meaning more gun control. In a section of the platform that deals much more with prison reform than crime, the Democrats have this to say about guns and gun control:

Enact common sense gun safety measures. Democrats recognize the Constitutional right of Americans to
keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. The vast majority of Michigan gun owners are responsible
citizens and sportsman that value the strong Michigan tradition of hunting and safe use of firearms.
Democrats, along with vast majorities of the American public, support common sense gun safety proposals like closing the gun show loophole and preventing potential terrorists from purchasing
firearms. If an individual is deemed too dangerous to fly, they should be too dangerous to buy a gun.
Democrats also support banning military style weapons, like the AR-15, which has been used in mass
shootings in Sandy Hook, Dallas, Orlando, and across the nation.

The Michigan Democrat’s platform was one of the first I remember seeing advocating using the “no-fly” list to make one a prohibited person.


The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has much less on gun control in their ongoing party platform than I would have expected. Their section on Public Safety and Crime Prevention only had this to say about firearms:

Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention without infringing on the
rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts.

Now the question as to what is a reasonable policy is open to discussion. I would call attention to the fact that they don’t want to infringe “on the rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts”. They say nothing about those who would use a firearm for self-protection and self-defense. This is interesting as this section also calls for mandatory sentences for drug dealer and rapists as well as stiff penalties for child abuse.

The Minnesota DFL webpage does have an endorsement of March for our Lives and condemns the NRA. That might give you a better feel for what the DFL considers “reasonable firearm policies.”


The Mississippi Democratic Party platform was adopted in 2016 and make absolutely no mention of firearms or gun control. It concentrates much more on education and voting rights. Given the history of voting rights in Mississippi in the 1960s, this is understandable.

The Mississippi Democratic Party web presence is a mess. They still have an active website the basically stops in 2008, the one they publicize on Twitter – – goes to a suspended webpage, and the one I got the platform from calls itself the classic Mississippi Democratic Party page.


The Missouri Democratic Party platform was adopted in August 2018 and calls for reasonable gun control measures. Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder as you can tell below:

Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention
without infringing on second amendment rights. Mandatory background
checks and 72-hour waiting periods on the purchase of weapons

  • An assault weapons ban
  • Keeping daycares, schools, health care providers, churches, and
    universities as gun-free zones
  • Keeping illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of kids
  • Preventing domestic abusers from owning guns

Perhaps not surprising given that Ferguson was in Missouri but the platform endorses Black Lives Matter, body cams for cops, eliminating minimum sentences, and training in non-lethal techniques for police. It also calls for full restitution of voting rights and the ability to hold public office after a sentence is served.

For My Massachusetts Readers – Hearing On Suppressors Today

I should have gotten this out yesterday but better late than never. The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security will be holding hearings on two bills that would seek to legalize suppressor ownership there.

From the American Suppressor Association who will be testifying at the hearings:

On Thursday, November 16th at 11:00 AM in Room A-1,
the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland
Security will hear two bills which seek to legalize suppressor ownership
in Massachusetts. S. 1317, and, S. 1340,
would replace the current law that prohibits the possession of
suppressors by non-manufacturers with language that allows private
individuals to own and possess suppressors so long as they are not (1)
prohibited persons; (2) committing a violent felony; (3) committing a
crime of violence against a family member; or (4) possessing or selling
controlled substances.
American Suppressor Association will be on hand to testify in support
of these bills, but we need your help! If you are a Massachusetts
resident, please attend the hearing to show your support. Also,
using the contact form below, please contact members of the Joint
Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and politely urge them
to vote in support of S. 1317 and S. 1340. Do this, even if you plan to
attend the hearing in person. 

View our entire blog post HERE and our testimony submitted to the committee HERE.

Good Little Statists

I saw this tweet from the Violence Policy Center applauding the moves yesterday by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D-MA) to rule by edict regarding AWB state-compliant firearms.

When you consider that their founder and executive director Josh Sugarmann was the person who popularized the term “assault weapons”, it all begins to make sense. He meant for the term to be used to confuse the general public into supporting bans under the guise of “anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun”.

Healey and Sugarmann are the people that George Orwell warned us about in 1984. They are the good little statists from the Ministry of Love intent on making us submit to their will. The term “assault weapon” is nothing but Newspeak – the controlled language meant to limit freedom of thought. Those earnest men who assembled on Lexington Green in April 1775 must be rolling in their graves to see what has become of their state.

Governing By Edict In Massachusetts

The gun prohibitionists and anti-rights forces just love the word “loophole”. They love it so much in Massachusetts that the attorney general has decided to arbitrarily reinterpret the commonwealth’s assault weapons (sic) ban.

Attorney General Maura Healey (D-MA) announced her edict in the Boston Globe today. She says that as of today, if a firearm has either components that are interchangeable with AR-15s and AKs from the free states or an “operating system” that is essentially the same, it is banned.

From the Boston Globe:

The gun industry has found a way to exploit our laws, a loophole of potentially horrific proportions. And it’s time we act.

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.

Healey claims a “moral obligation” to come out with this edict. Methinks it more political grandstanding that any sort of moral obligation.

It will be interesting to see what is meant in real life terms by having an “operating system (which) is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon.” Does that mean any and all semiautomatic rifles that use direct gas impingement are banned? Or, in the case of an AK, does this mean all firearms with short stroke gas systems are banned?

You have to wonder if Remington will restart their production of their Model 7615P pump action .223 that took AR15 magazines. It would be a nice in your face workaround to Healey’s edict.

Hey, JayG! Did You See This?

For those that haven’t heard, well-known gun blogger JayG of MArooned is leaving the Volksrepublik of Massachusetts for the Commonwealth of Virginia to take a job there. Jay is leaving one commonwealth where gun rights have long been under attack for one that is currently in the good column.

However, if gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) has his way, Virginia will become the next Colorado. And by this, I mean the pre-recall Colorado with magazine bans and universal background checks. McAuliffe wants to one-up Hickenlooper by also implementing a one-gun-a-month purchase restriction. Like Hickenlooper, he appears to be in Bloomberg’s pocket.

From McAuliffe’s campaign website:

Support common sense gun control measures
As Governor, Terry will support mainstream and majority supported gun control measures like universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines, and a return to the 1-gun-per-month rule. These measures respect Virginians’ right to bear arms while reducing gun violence.

 According to a poll published on Monday in the Washington Post, McAuliffe is leading Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) by 47 to 39 percent among likely voters. Cuccinelli has been a good supporter of gun rights and this has been recognized by the gun prohibitionists.

JayG better hurry up down to the Old Dominion as I think his vote may well be needed.

As to McAuliffe, I think the Virginia’s state motto applies – sic semper tyrannis.

Reporter Charts His Path To Carry Permit In Massachusetts

Michael Hartwell is a staff reporter for the Sentinel and Enterprise of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Having grown up shooting in Maine and having been threatened more than once as a result of his articles, he decided to apply for his Massachusetts Firearms ID (FID) card and also to get his Class A carry permit.

What clinched it, however, was the way I felt during the manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. I didn’t feel safe in Leominster, which is less than an hour’s drive away from where the suspect was last seen.

Earlier this month, it occurred to me that as a reporter and a Massachusetts resident, I’m in the perfect position to see what impact the state’s gun-control laws would have on someone with a clean record who simply wants to exercise their legal rights.

A reporter seeking to exercise his or her rights to purchase a firearm and detailing the difficulties isn’t a new story. Emily Miller of the Washington Times detailed her tortuous path to handgun ownership in the series called “Emily Gets Her Gun”.  Nonetheless, it is interesting to see the path and the obstacles that Hartwell has to overcome in seeking to get his FID and Class A carry permit.

So far it is a three-part series. The first details his decision to get the FID and Class A carry permit, the second details his training class, and now the third article details the wait times and growth in demand in his town of Leominster.

I live in a shall-issue state so I am somewhat bewildered by the complexity of the process in a may-issue state like Massachusetts. The other thing that has struck me is just how much things can vary by town in terms of who gets a permit, what type of permit, and how long they have to wait to obtain it.

For example if you are a resident in the town of Fitchburg, the local police chief essentially makes you go through a multi-year apprenticeship in order to get your Class A carry permit.

Fitchburg Police Chief Robert DeMoura said the overwhelming majority of applicants pass because people with felony convictions know they would fail and rarely apply. DeMoura said he denies concealed-weapon permits to new shooters 90 percent of the time.

“I will give them a target and hunting permit,” said DeMoura. “First and foremost, they just went through a one-day course about firearms, and I just don’t feel that they’ve had enough time to be around a weapon to be able to carry a concealed weapon. My philosophy is that the state law says I have to give them a permit if they qualify — they don’t tell me what kind of permit, but I have to give them a permit. Most of the time I give them a target-hunting (permit).”

He said he makes exceptions if someone needs a license to carry for their job, such as a security officer. As the chief of an urban area, DeMoura said most applicants did not grow up around guns, but he would take into consideration if an applicant has a history of handling firearms.

If someone has had a standard FID card for a year, DeMoura said he is willing to upgrade it to a concealed-weapons permit.

Hartwell, fortunately enough, lives in Leominster.

Still, he has to wait. The next opening for an appointment to submit his application to the firearms licensing clerk there is July 2nd. If he lived in the town of Richmond in western Massachusetts, he could just walk in without an appointment every other Wednesday evening when the Richmond police chief holds office hours. Moreover, the chief himself handles the application.

I certainly have a greater appreciation for how good I have it here in North Carolina and an even greater admiration for people like JayG and Weerd who have taken on the system and gotten their permits.

Smith & Wesson Tops The Globe 100

The Boston Globe publishes an annual list which ranks the best performing public companies in Massachusetts. The winner this year probably surprised them but certainly not those of us in the gun culture. It was the 161-year old firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson which is located in Springfield.

In an article that is mostly unbiased for the left-leaning Globe, they explain why S&W topped the list.

With its sights trained on firearms once more, Smith & Wesson increased profits 14 times over in 2012, netting $66 million on sales of $538.6 million and rocketing to the first position on this year’s Globe 100 list.

‘We went back to what we do best, which is handguns. We divested the security business very successfully and since that point have not looked back.’ – James Debney, CEO, Smith & Wesson

But the company’s renaissance is not merely a case of addition by subtraction. In recent years, Smith & Wesson has ventured beyond its core revolver business, introducing popular polymer handguns and modern sporting rifles.

The latter — often referred to as assault rifles — represent Smith & Wesson’s fastest-growing product line. Sales increased by 85 percent last year, and a line that did not exist in 2010 delivered more than a fifth of the company’s total revenue.

“It’s become an important piece of our business,” Debney said, acknowledging some concern about legislative efforts to ban the controversial weapons. “But at the end of the day, we come back to our core competency, and where we’re strategically focused, in terms of product, is the [military and police] pistol.”

At the moment, civilian sales of polymer handguns outnumber law enforcement sales, 20 to 1. Smith & Wesson only launched a polymer handgun line in 2006, but the company now views it as the main driver of future growth.

Currently, Smith & Wesson is the third ranked firearms manufacturer by number of firearms produced in the US behind Ruger and Remington. Their current order backlog is approximately $668 million which is greater than the previous year’s sales.

Smith & Wesson was given a $ 6 million tax incentive to expand their plant back in 2010. That tax incentive required them to hire an additional 225 over the next seven years. They have already met this requirement as they have hired 350 new workers in the past two years to meet the demand for new firearms. Their payroll is now $80 million annually and their total workforce in Massachusetts now numbers 1,500.

There are a number of comments on S&W topping the Globe 100. Most are as one might expect from what JayG calls the Volksrepublik. They include stuff like “Glorifying a company that manufactures guns?” and “Surely there must be a more worthy #1 pick than an assault weapons manufacturer.” It is actually rather amusing to watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. I know for certain that the 350 people who have gotten good paying steady work are not among them.

Second Amendment Rally In Boston On Wednesday

GOAL – the Gun Owner’s Action League – is the NRA state affiliate in Massachusetts. They will be holding a rally in support of the Second Amendment on Boston Commons this coming Wednesday. Included in the list of speakers is Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation and Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Support – Defend – Speak Out – Take a Stand!

This is your opportunity to make your voice heard to your state lawmakers! It is critical that you attend this important rally to show your support for our Second Amendment rights. If able, please schedule meetings with your state legislators in advance, and spend the day networking with other Second Amendment supporters.

Guest Speakers:

  • Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL

  • Steve Moysey V.P. of GOAL

  • Jay Beard President of GOAL

  • Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb

  • Illinois State Rifle Association’s Rich Pearson

  • Youtube sensation Yang Li and more!


  • Reminder: City of Boston Parks & Rec Commission has regualtion prohibiting CCW on the Boston Common which carries a fine of up to $50.00. Also, CCW is not allowed in the State House.

  • Date: Wednesday April 3, 2013

  • Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

  • Location: Start at Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common (see google map below) event will proceed to the Massachusetts State House.

  • Transportation: MBTA Park Street Station on the Green Line.

  • Driving: Directions, click on “directions” on the google map below.

  • Additional Information: Please email Angela Fisher

  • GOAL urges all affiliated clubs to organize a charter bus service to transport your membership to this rally!

  • Printable Flyer: Click here to open an 8.5×11 .pdf of the flyer, print it out and hang it at your club, town hall, etc…


  • TALKING POINTS – Download and print this pdf featuring information which covers 6 separate bills and their affect on MA gun owners.

  • Who is your legislator? Find out by clicking here and entering your zip code. Don’t forget to contact them before the event, make sure that they will be able to meet with you on the day of the rally at approximately 2:00 pm. Contact/Invite your state representative and state senator.

Comm2A Goes To Federal Court Against Four Police Chiefs

Commonwealth Second Amendment, the Massachusetts gun rights organization, has filed suit in US District Court for the District of Massachusetts against four Massachusetts police chiefs. They allege that the chiefs have violated the Second Amendment rights by imposing unreasonable and unlawful licensing restrictions on the plaintiffs.

Comm2A filed suit in federal court against four police chiefs in Massachusetts alleging that they violated citizens Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

With support from the National Rifle Association, Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A) and six individual plaintiffs filed suit challenging the constitutionality of restrictions placed on the Licenses to Carry issued by police chiefs in the towns of Weymouth, Danvers, Peabody, and Worcester. The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were denied their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms because the defendants imposed unreasonable and unlawful licensing restrictions on the plaintiffs.

“The fact that there are 351 unregulated and arbitrary practices of issuing licenses in Massachusetts is ridiculous,” said Brent Carlton President of Comm2A. “No one would stand for it if it was arbitrarily determined who has the ability to access other rights granted by the Constitution such as free speech.”

In all six cases Chiefs determined that individuals who were otherwise lawfully suitable would be restricted from having a firearm for self defense. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit seek a declaratory ruling that the Massachusetts licensing statute and practices of the defendants that prohibit qualified citizens are unconstitutional because they prohibit qualified citizens such as the plaintiffs from carrying a loaded operable handgun for the purpose of self-defense. The suit also seeks to direct defendants to issue plaintiffs licenses to carry without restrictions that would otherwise prohibit the carrying of firearms for personal protection.

Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A) is a grassroots civil rights organization dedicated to promoting a better understanding of rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The case is Davis v. Grimes and the complaint can be found here. The attorneys for the plaintiffs are Patrick M. Groulx of Melrose, Massachusetts and well-known Second Amendment attorney David Jensen of New York.