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Smith & Wesson tells Wall Street its move to Tennessee is ‘on track’

Smith and Wesson plans to start moving its front office to Tennessee at around this time next year.

“Towards the beginning part of next summer will be — starting to ramp up the operations in earnest and start to be manufacturing and distributing product out of that location,” said Mark Smith, Smith & Wesson president and CEO Thursday in a conference call following the release of disappointing financial results for the company.

On stock analysts asked how the move will affect Smith & Wesson’s flexible manufacturing program. Smith replied by reaffirming that the metal-shaping machining operations and forging operations will remain in Springfield.

“All those machining operations are staying here in Springfield. So there really isn’t a whole lot of change there,” he said.

A year ago, Smith & Wesson announced it was moving its headquarters, distribution and plastics manufacturing and assembly work on automatic handguns and rifles to Marysville, Tennessee.

The company will retain 1,000 jobs and metal cutting and precision manufacturing operations at its 2100 Roosevelt Ave. plant in Springfield. The company will lay off 550 local workers, moving those jobs to gun-friendly Tennessee.

Smith cited legislation proposed, but never passed, that could make it illegal to manufacture firearms in Massachusetts for the civilian market that are illegal to sell here. That would have banned Smith & Wesson from making firearms with larger-than allowed magazine capacities, lighter trigger pulls and with military-looking features associated with what critics call assault rifles and the industry calls modern sporting rifles.

Thursday, Mark Smith said construction crews are pouring concrete pads in Tennessee and the walls will soon go up.

Sales for gunmaker Smith & Wesson fell to the lowest level in 13 years.

Sales in its most recent quarter were $84.4 million, a decrease of $190.2 million or 69.3% from the same time period in 2021, Smith & Wesson said Thursday in a quarterly financial report.

Smith blamed the drop on the market returning to normal following a pandemic-driven buying surge.

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(c) 2022 The Republican

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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