Smith & Wesson to bring 750 jobs

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Artist’s conception of Smith & Wesson’s future headquarters in Blount County. Source: Smith & Wesson.

“Made by Smith & Wesson” is about to mean “Made in East Tennessee.”

In one of the biggest economic boons of its type in a generation, the Knoxville metropolitan area has been picked as the new location for the country’s leading gun maker, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.

The 169-year-old company will break ground on its new headquarters in Blount County by the end of the year, officials said Thursday.

The company is expected to invest more than $125 million and create 750 new jobs in the region.

“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,” said the company’s president and CEO, Mark Smith. 

“We would like to specifically thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions, and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the Second Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business friendly environment,” said Smith.

In addition to its headquarters, the company plans to relocate its distribution, assembly, and plastic injection molding operations to the new facility in the Partnership Park North, which is east of Louisville Road near McGhee Tyson Airport.

Since its founding in 1852, Smith & Wesson has been located in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and designers of firearms. They produce a wide array of handguns, long guns, handcuffs, suppressors, and other firearm-related products. Their customers include firearm enthusiasts, collectors, hunters, sportsmen, competitive shooters, individuals desiring home and personal protection, law enforcement and security agencies and officers, and military agencies in the United States and throughout the world.

“Our pro-business reputation, skilled workforce, and commitment to the Second Amendment make Tennessee an ideal location for firearms manufacturing,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. “We welcome Smith & Wesson to The Volunteer State and are proud this U.S.-based brand has chosen to relocate from Massachusetts. Thanks for your significant investment in Blount County and for creating 750 new jobs.”

Smith & Wesson will join more than 20 small arms and ammunition manufacturers located in Tennessee, which ranks No. 1 in the nation for employment in the small arms and ammunition sector, with employment increasing by 54% over the last five years, according to Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe.

“Tennessee is known by the brands that call our state home, and Smith & Wesson adds an enormous boost to our portfolio,” Rolfe said. “We know that Smith & Wesson could have chosen anywhere in the world to relocate its operations and headquarters, and the fact they chose Tennessee underscores our state’s business-friendly environment and highly skilled workforce. The magnitude of this project will have a lasting impact on our state for years to come, and we appreciate the company for its significant investment in East Tennessee.”

Published on October 1, 2021.