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Flashback: Smith & Wesson Ditches East Coast Home of Nearly 170 Years, Opens New Headquarters in the South

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Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt recently with “A Socialist Is Just A Communist Without A Gun” printed in big red letters on the front and back. The implication is that freedom lovers need access to guns to protect their God-given rights.

Maybe that’s why, as of 2022, “about 45 percent of U.S. households had at least one gun in their possession,” according to Statista. That’s less than half of American families, but the number of firearms in the U.S., according to recent figures, “is around 466 million due to record-breaking sales during the pandemic,” according to American Gun Facts.

That’s more guns than people, the last time I looked.

Liberals don’t like so many people having guns, and leftist politicians are hell-bent on taking them away. If they had their way, gun manufacturers would be crippled by the weight of a legal system weaponized against them. The best way to disarm the citizenry is to nix the gunmakers. Does this sound like the left is interested in defending your freedom?

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The legendary gunmaker Smith & Wesson has been located in Springfield, Massachusetts, since 1856.

These days, Massachusetts has some of the country’s strictest gun laws.

Two years ago, Smith & Wesson took note when lawmakers in the state pushed legislation that “would essentially ban the manufacturing of military-style rifles in the state,” according to a September 2021 report from WBUR-FM in Boston.

“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,” Mark Smith, the company’s president and CEO, said at the time, according to WBUR.

Smith & Wesson wasn’t waiting around hoping for the best from a bunch of leftist politicians. The company announced it was moving to a red state that was more friendly to the Second Amendment.

On Oct. 7, the company celebrated the grand opening of its Maryville, Tennessee, headquarters.

Under Republican leadership, Tennessee has moved to expand gun rights rather than take them away, according to The Associated Press. As of 2021, most people 21 and older there are able, by law, to carry handguns without a permit if they pass a state-level background check and have some training.

Smith & Wesson’s grand opening drew a large crowd.

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“From where I stand, the next 170 years of Smith & Wesson are looking pretty good,” Smith said at the event, according to the AP. “It is something special here in Tennessee.”

He said a close collaboration with Tennessee’s state government, combined with “support for the 2nd Amendment” through a welcoming regulatory environment, was vital in the plan to relocate. The company said the new facility will create hundreds of jobs.

The 650,000-square feet headquarters is part of a $125 million relocation plan announced in 2021. Tours of the new facility were offered at the grand opening.

Will more businesses abandon liberal states?

Smith & Wesson is not alone. According to The Epoch Times, “Tesla, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and Remington are also among the hundreds of companies flocking out of California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey to business-friendly places such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Tennessee.”

Freedom is not only good for citizens, it’s good for business. When businesses thrive, the common good expands. That’s good for everybody.

“As a result of its political divisions,” the Epoch Times stated, “the United States appears to now be dividing itself into prosperous, high-growth states and states that are suffering a chronic decline.”

In a 2022 survey, 700 CEOs ranked the top states for business as Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona and North Carolina. Blue states were ranked as the worst: California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington. Blue means bad for business.

The fact that freedom is good for business is nothing new. When leftists try to curb freedom under the pretense of “social justice,” “equity” or “victimhood” by passing laws to take freedom away, it’s an affront to the Constitution.

People need freedom like they need air. They’ll do what they have to do to get it.

People have a right to protect their God-given rights. Sometimes — for example, during a home invasion — they need access to a gun to do it.

Businesses have a right to do business where it best suits them. Sometimes they have to pick up and move to greener, freer fields of play.

When guns are outlawed, only the communists will have them. When businesses like Smith & Wesson are threatened by government regulations, they must fight back for the freedom to survive.


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Jack Gist has published books, short stories, poems, essays, and opinion pieces in outlets such as The Imaginative Conservative, Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, Galway Review, and others. His genre-bending novel The Yewberry Way: Prayer (2023) is the first installment of a trilogy that explores the relationship between faith and reason. He can be found at jackgistediting.com
Jack Gist has published books, short stories, poems, essays, and opinion pieces in outlets such as The Imaginative Conservative, Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, Galway Review, and others. His genre-bending novel The Yewberry Way: Prayer (2023) is the first installment of a trilogy that explores the relationship between faith and reason. He can be found at jackgistediting.com




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