(Headline USA) Smith & Wesson, a company that manufactures guns, hosted a grand opening of its new Tennessee headquarters Saturday after moving from its longtime home in Massachusetts to a more gun-friendly state.
The company built a new 650,000-square feet (60,387-square meters) headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee, as part of a $125 million relocation plan announced in 2021.
Tours were offered at the new facility on Saturday.
The company had been located in Springfield, Massachusetts, since the mid-19th century. However, company officials said that legislative proposals in that state would ban them from manufacturing certain weapons, and thus obviously ban the full operation of their businesses.
Massachusetts is known to have some of the country’s most restrictive gun laws.
Smith & Wesson President and CEO Mark Smith spoke at the event Saturday, which drew a large crowd to the new facility, The Daily Times reported.
“From where I stand, the next 170 years of Smith & Wesson are looking pretty good,” Smith said. “It is something special here in Tennessee.”
He cited a welcoming regulatory environment and close collaboration with the Tennessee state government as a crucial piece of the plan to relocate. The company has said the new facility would create hundreds of jobs.
Tennessee has moved to protect gun rights in recent years under Republican leadership.
In 2021, the state passed a law that recognized every American’s natural right to own a firearm by allowing most adults to carry handguns without a permit, which has become known as constitutional carry.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press