Why did Smith & Wesson pick MA as their home state, considering...


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SIGfiend
March 10, 2011, 01:10 PM
...how MA is overwhelmingly anti-gun?

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JoelSteinbach
March 10, 2011, 01:19 PM
They have been there before all the restrictions

R.W.Dale
March 10, 2011, 01:21 PM
you do realize that S&W has been there for approaching 200 years right?

SIGfiend
March 10, 2011, 01:27 PM
Yeah, but why haven't they moved out since the changing of the times? It's not a very friendly place for gun companies to be, just like CA.

R.W.Dale
March 10, 2011, 01:30 PM
when the hassle begins to cost more money than the move they likely will. But watch out and be careful what you wish for as they could do what many/most American corporations have done and move production right outside the country

ny32182
March 10, 2011, 01:31 PM
Laws that apply to manufacturers and those surrounding civilian ownership are not necessarily related in any way, for one thing... and as others have said, they were likely there long before the libs.

shotgunjoel
March 10, 2011, 01:33 PM
Not only is the political climate poor, but I'm sure that labor is much more expensive in Mass. than other states with weaker union rights, and I'm certain that their taxes are higher there than other states. They are established where they are, it's where their buildings, equipment, and families are. Sure, all of that could be moved, but maybe they don't want to, maybe it'd cost too much to move. Ruger moved a good chunk of their company from N.H. to Arizona, so it has been done. S&W is a much older company than Ruger however, they may just be too rooted in Mass.

Sam1911
March 10, 2011, 01:34 PM
Yeah, but why haven't they moved out since the changing of the times? It's not a very friendly place for gun companies to be, just like CA. The hassles of civilian/citizen firearms ownership in MA probably doesn't affect their bottom line one dollar. Why would they move?

kingpin008
March 10, 2011, 01:41 PM
Yeah, but why haven't they moved out since the changing of the times? It's not a very friendly place for gun companies to be, just like CA.

As mentioned, the laws don't apply to them the same way they do for individuals. Also, you try moving a multi-million-dollar company, including all the manufacturing facilities. Then let us know how easy and cheap it was to relocate, re-tool, re-hire an entire workforce and get back up to speed again.

geekWithA.45
March 10, 2011, 01:45 PM
200-150 years ago, MA and CT and to some extent RI, NY and PA where the industrial engines that made the world turn. Raw materials flowed in from the West, got converted to goods, and flowed out to the world.

SIGfiend
March 10, 2011, 01:50 PM
AZ or TX would be a better home for several reasons. Both places are more business friendly and both those states would buy more guns than MA ever would with all their <deleted> and restrictive laws. Like another guy said too, the tax rates are lower than MA.

You'd get more sales from those states' residents than you normally would because it'd be easier to receive repair service and parts, you could come in and look at new prototypes/show room debuts, have access to in-house training facilities like what SIG and HK offer...isn't that pretty compelling?

JoelSteinbach
March 10, 2011, 01:57 PM
They are located on the right side of MA, a lot more consevative than the Boston side.

Sam1911
March 10, 2011, 02:05 PM
AZ or TX would be a better home for several reasons. Both places are more business friendly ... Like another guy said too, the tax rates are lower than MA.And when those tax incentives are calculated to be of greater value than the obscene cost of moving a huge manufacturing facility and all its workers 2,000 miles -- they will.

and both those states would buy more guns than MA ever would with all their ... restrictive laws.They already DO! So what? They aren't going to by more guns because S&W now is located in Dallas or Flagstaff.

You'd get more sales from those states' residents than you normally would because it'd be easier to receive repair service and parts, you could come in and look at new prototypes/show room debuts, have access to in-house training facilities like what SIG and HK offer...isn't that pretty compelling?
Really? Naaah. I can see all I need to know at a gun shop or gun show. I don't need to visit the manufacturer to decide which gun I can shoot best. And such a small percentage of shooters ever take any training at all that they can't count on offering it to bring in more than a (relative) handful of sales.

And I doubt very many people really consider ease of shipment for warranty work when they're buying a new gun. If I like an M&P more than I like a Glock, am I likely to choose the Glock anyway because I live within a few hours' drive of the repair center? No way.

These manufacturers sell guns all over the country and all over the world. They could lose every sale within 50 miles (or even within their entire home state, probably) and hardly feel the hit. They aren't basing their sales goals on being "local" to their customers. Location just is not important.

09prknotts
March 10, 2011, 02:09 PM
The company moving to AZ isn't necessarily going to get S&W more sales from that state people are going to buy the guns they like and want regardless, its not like S&W isn't sold in AZ. Plus them relocating to AZ from MA after almost 200 years might actually cost them some loyal customers from MA. Just because the state is liberal doesn't mean everyone who lives there is, and I bet that there are people in MA who own guns too.

eye5600
March 10, 2011, 04:03 PM
200-150 years ago, MA and CT and to some extent RI, NY and PA where the industrial engines that made the world turn. Raw materials flowed in from the West, got converted to goods, and flowed out to the world.

Just the other day, when I had a little free time and was passing through Shelton, CT, I thought I'd look up a gun shop. So I Googled "gun Shelton, CT", and wrote down the address 191 Canal St.

While parts of Shelton are filled with office buildings full of white collar workers and probably pretty prosperous, the downtown is the relic of an old industrial town built on a river. Old railroad bridges cross the rivers at odd angles. It's too gritty and decrepit to call picturesque. Canal St is right next to river, and 191 is at dead end between some 150-year-old brick buildings. It looks like a set for a TV drug drop. There was obviously no retail gun shop there, so I went on my way.

When I got home, I checked in Google to see what I had done wrong, and clicked a Google-provided link: http://www.charterfirearms.com/. I don't know what they actually do there, but I doubt any product goes though that location. For all I know, it's where their web programmer hangs out.

Next time, maybe I'll find Valley Firearms, which where I meant to go in the first place.

eye5600
March 10, 2011, 04:06 PM
AZ or TX would be a better home for several reasons.

Studies show that the most reliable predictor of where a corporation will move to is where the CEO lives. If westerner gets to be head of S&W, then maybe they'll move.

Cerberus is moving all their gun manufacturing around, but they're so big that the CEO can stay put.

oneounceload
March 10, 2011, 04:24 PM
Why did Smith & Wesson pick MA as their home state, considering...
...how MA is overwhelmingly anti-gun?

For the same reasons that many gun companies are located in now unfriendly states - it's where they have been established; it's where they feel they can get the most talented labor force for their needs; and where they undoubtedly have very little debt or mortgage since they have been there for such a long time

Boomerang
March 10, 2011, 04:30 PM
You'd get more sales from those states' residents than you normally would because it'd be easier to receive repair service and parts, you could come in and look at new prototypes/show room debuts, have access to in-house training facilities like what SIG and HK offer...isn't that pretty compelling?

I don't think repair service would change much.
I can walk right up to S&W to drop off a gun for repair, but they want it shipped, even if you live nearby.

They already do have a showroom where you can browse and buy guns. You can also rent anything they sell, and shoot it there on the range. They already have in-house training facilities.

Massachusetts gave S&W a 6 million dollar tax break to stay.

zorro45
March 10, 2011, 09:15 PM
1. excellent pool of skilled workers, some a legacy from when Springfield Armory was the "high tech" arms R&D facility in the U.S.
2. Close and convenient proximity to Bradley Airport to facilitate training programs for police,military from overseas and far away in the U.S.
3. Lots of money invested in infrastructure for manufacturing, R&D, range, computer simulators, store
4.large dedicated cadre of instructors for excellent training classes
5. many educational institutions nearby producing engineers with expertise in mechanical engineering, metallurgy, polymer science, etc.
6. some of the best surgeons in the world for repairing the work-related hernias of the employees which develop lifting heavy trays of gun parts (personal opinion)

W.E.G.
March 10, 2011, 09:50 PM
1908 was a million years ago in internet years.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/SmithandWessonfactory1908.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/32-20/DSCN6549smaller.jpg

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 10, 2011, 10:24 PM
Why is S&W in MA considering...how MA is overwhelmingly anti-gun?

1. They were in business long before MA's gun laws

2. State laws like MAs typically exclude manufacturers anyway if the guns are going out of state or are for LEO/MIL customers. For example, Colt makes M16 and M4 machine guns in CT for military and LEO sales worldwide. But it is illegal to own a M16 in CT.

3. Massachusetts was one of the centers of the industrial Revolution and in centuries past was a major worldwide transportation hub for raw materials, foundries, factories, etc. At the same time....AZ was a barren desert with a couple one-horse towns in the middle of nowhere.

Also, I completely fail to see how the manufacturer being in a state or another would somehow boost sales. Grip size, weight, handling, recoil, sights, aftermarket options, warranty, price, these things are what sell guns. Not "was it made in AZ or MA?"

While these cities may be an empty shell of what they once were, you'd do well to study your history and learn about what amazing, vital industrial centers to the entire world these places once were.

Yes, even Trenton.

http://i28.tinypic.com/2rqdez7.jpg

22-rimfire
March 10, 2011, 10:30 PM
I don't think you would want Smith & Wesson to move their firearms manufacturing business to another state. They are doing just fine where they are as I understand it. But, IF they decided to move, more than likely the majority of the employees would not be given the opportunity to move with the company. The result is likely a more poorly manufactured product. Let them stay just where they are.

Maybe Taurus could move from Brazil to the US where their dominant market is? Why don't they? Cost.

orionengnr
March 10, 2011, 11:52 PM
Hmmm. Given that they have been there since 1873 (?) or so...I think they would be somewhat reluctant to leave.

When they are forced to, they will. Not one moment before. Just like Colt in CT, Springfield in IL, Remington in NY.

All are distinctly anti-states. Corporate momentum is a powerful force.

.338-06
March 11, 2011, 03:03 AM
eye5600, Charter Arms gives their address as 281 Canal St., not 191. Google let you down sir!

eye5600
March 11, 2011, 07:00 PM
eye5600, Charter Arms gives their address as 281 Canal St., not 191. Google let you down sir!
You're right. I typed it wrong in my post. I should've taken a picture.

danprkr
March 11, 2011, 10:38 PM
The enormous expense of moving a factory is probably the overriding issue here. I have no idea what it would take to move the S&W factory, but in the early 90s I was part of refit of the Arlington TX GM factory, not move mind you, but refit to a new line of vehicles, and that was supposedly costing GM 400million. So I'm guessing to pick up and move a factor would expensive enough to make it financial suicide in all but the most dire of circumstances. They are a for profit concern, and only worry about politics as they affect their bottom line. So they aren't going to move because they don't like the local political leanings of their state's legislature right now. They were there when they became leftist, and will probably be there to see the worm turn to the right.

ArkieVol
March 11, 2011, 11:00 PM
Jack Daniel's distillery, founded 1875, is located in a dry county...BUT, it
doesn't keep them from selling a bunch of good ole Tennessee sippin' whiskey :)

Same with S&W. If it ain't broke...

Zundfolge
March 11, 2011, 11:13 PM
But watch out and be careful what you wish for as they could do what many/most American corporations have done and move production right outside the country
Not likely as it would cost them significantly to deal with US import restrictions on firearms.

Honestly considering the high corporate income tax rate in Mass, Romney Care, onerous regulations and heavy union presence I'm surprised S&W are still there. I can't imagine that moving to a state with no corporate income tax wouldn't pay for itself quite quickly (although to be honest only Texas and maybe Nevada have enough potential work force to replace all the skilled workers that don't want to move out of Mass)



EDIT
According to this site (http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/07/smith_wesson_revenue_up_could.html) S&W had revenue of $406.2 Million in 2010. The corporate income tax rate for Mass is 8.5% so thats $34.527 Million dollars.

Also "Founded here [Mass] in 1852, Smith & Wesson has 909 employees in Springfield [Mass], 152 in Houlton, Maine, and another 322 in Rochester, N.H." So when you add the facilities in Maine and NH it starts to make less financial sense.

danprkr
March 11, 2011, 11:17 PM
Honestly considering the high corporate income tax rate in Mass, Romney Care, onerous regulations and heavy union presence I'm surprised S&W are still there. I can't imagine that moving to a state with no corporate income tax wouldn't pay for itself quite quickly

I'd bet that the bean counters have done the numbers and concluded you are incorrect, but then again it maybe the can't see the forest for the trees thing. They may simply have not considered it. Who knows?

Zundfolge
March 11, 2011, 11:42 PM
Well in general the anti gun laws in Mass don't impact the profitability of the company much (if at all) so I imagine they haven't considered it.

TexasBill
March 12, 2011, 12:25 AM
I am sure S&W's attorneys and accountants take advantage of every possible loophole: According to their annual report, Smith & Wesson Holdings paid $14,841,000 in income taxes in 2010. That's about 45.7% of the net revenue of $32,510,000 but just 3.6% of total sales of $406,176,000.

Smith & Wesson is non-union at all their facilities so there wouldn't be any benefit to their moving to a right-to-work state.

Smith & Wesson has experienced employees and it's likely a good percentage of them would not or could not move to a different state.

In addition, if Smith & Wesson was to decide to move to another state, I have difficulty seeing them choose Texas. Texas has a lousy record of attracting new manufacturing to the state. Out of all the new auto plants built by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Subaru, Mitsubishi, BMW & Mercedes, the only plant that came to Texas was the Toyota truck plant near San Antonio and that selection was primarily driven by Toyota's belief that a new pickup plant should be in Texas.

I think the real question is why S&W would want to move?

CapnMac
March 12, 2011, 12:45 AM
Actually, the answer is water.
Two hundred years ago, you needed reliable waterflow to run the water wheels that powered the mills and shops. The new england area has a number of watersheds that suit that work.

In addition, access to water is very convenient for transporting heavy raw materials like pig iron, steel, and the like. Which was a reason not to move the mills when steam replaced running water. The coal for fuel for those steam plants was also cheapest in the heavy bulk size shipments that you can make by river.

Was not just S&W for that matter. Colt, Marlin, Savage, lots of those companies were there in the new england area. That area was also populated first, so that's where the first companies set up. Which also meant they had the first "shot" (NPI) at skilled immigrant labor, too. As the industries matured, and immigration waned, 'gentrification' set in, and the political harvest reaped from that is what we see today.

yeti
March 12, 2011, 09:07 AM
Maybe S&W just finds Springfield, Mass. is wicked good as far as places to make guns go...

Gouranga
March 12, 2011, 11:25 AM
only Texas and maybe Nevada have enough potential work force to replace all the skilled workers that don't want to move out of Mass)


I would not count on that. NC and SC have a large number of skilled workforce that are sidelined by Freightliner, and many of our furniture, and textile companies slowing down or shutting down altogether. SC has a very competitive tax rate and both NC and SC would bend over backwards to get the business. NC and SC also have major airlines, rail lines, and shipping ports to help S&W get their products anywhere in the world they wan them.

I am sure you could find more than a few states who would also fit the bill. It just costs so much to pick up a company and move it. They route they would likely take if it came to it, would be to open 1 or 2 small manufacturing facilities in prospective states to establish an infrastructure and test the waters then slowly ramp one up while ramping MA down.

I would think they would stay in the US because otherwise they would have to deal with a huge hurdle in our import laws.

Ole Coot
March 12, 2011, 11:57 AM
Don't care for the newer ones because of one reason but those who do remember they are still American jobs and if they moved to save money you probably would be buying a Chinese S&W.

leadcounsel
March 12, 2011, 12:16 PM
Okay, got it they were there long before MA became anti-gun.

But there are several gun companies located in MA, Illinois, California, etc. With their voting base of manufacturing, why weren't they able to lobby against anti-gun laws. You'd think that they would see the laws as a threat to their industry, especially the lawsuits...

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 12, 2011, 12:24 PM
But there are several gun companies located in MA, Illinois, California, etc. With their voting base of manufacturing, why weren't they able to lobby against anti-gun laws. You'd think that they would see the laws as a threat to their industry, especially the lawsuits...

Once again, you are failing to realize that gun laws have little to no impact on the manufacturer in this case. Their military and LEO sales are completely untouched - I can't recall a single gun control law in the USA that applies to the military or LE agencies. Their sales to the majority of states without restricted laws are completely untouched.

The only sales they lose, are the sales to residents of states with such laws. Which is business they would lose anyway regardless of where they are located. Whether S&W is in MA or AZ, a resident of MA has the same hoops to jump through to buy a handgun anyway.

9mmepiphany
March 12, 2011, 03:02 PM
You'd think that they would see the laws as a threat to their industry
...maybe, because they aren't

Owen
March 12, 2011, 03:50 PM
But there are several gun companies located in MA, Illinois, California, etc. With their voting base of manufacturing, why weren't they able to lobby against anti-gun laws. You'd think that they would see the laws as a threat to their industry, especially the lawsuits..

Like farming, manufacturing has been becoming more and more efficient, to the point that very few people actually have anything to with it. We are in an economy where less than 10% of the population produces physical goods, like food or manufactured items. The United States, by most measures is manufacturing more than ever, all while those manufacturing "jobs" are floating overseas.

There's two reason manufacturing jobs are disappearing: 1. The people just aren't needed in the numbers they used to be. 2. People in general don't want what are perceived to be dirty jobs.

The entire manufacturing side of the small arms business in the United States is probably somewhat less than 20,000 in a country of 330,000,000.

Smith and Wesson leaving Springfield would be a tremendous blow to a dying city, but in the greater scheme of Massachusetts? It wouldn't even be noticed.

There's no political power there to speak of.

Owen Sparks
March 12, 2011, 07:11 PM
What would happen if you had to move to another state because of your job? Would you be taking your wife away from her parents or your children away from all their friends? Getting a large group of highly skilled workers to move in mass is very difficult. Sure some will go but others will not.

leadcounsel
March 12, 2011, 09:39 PM
Once again, you are failing to realize that gun laws have little to no impact on the manufacturer in this case. Their military and LEO sales are completely untouched - I can't recall a single gun control law in the USA that applies to the military or LE agencies. Their sales to the majority of states without restricted laws are completely untouched.


Nope, I disagree. First, there are more private consumers than law enforcement by many-fold. And law enforcement is whimsical... sure you may have their contract now, but what about next time? A loyal consumer base is where the real money is. 300 million potentional consumers vs. a few million LEOs... big difference!!!

Also, It is short sighted to believe that a gradually more anti-gun country isn't a threat. Just look at the money gun companies have had to spend fighting after presumably sitting on their butts... they were rather close to losing the battle against indemnification in products liability suits... For every gun law, it's arguable that guns are removed from homes. And every home without a gun is a lost family of shooters and a generational effect.

You cannot sell your widgets if widgets are outlawed... and relying on Gov't contracts is foolish.

Zundfolge
March 12, 2011, 09:56 PM
There's two reason manufacturing jobs are disappearing: 1. The people just aren't needed in the numbers they used to be. 2. People in general don't want what are perceived to be dirty jobs.

I don't buy #2.

More likely the increasing number of onerous environmental, safety and labor regulations along with higher and higher corporate taxes are what's harming manufacturing.

rscalzo
March 12, 2011, 10:08 PM
I think the real question is why S&W would want to move?

They are moving Thompson Center out of NH and a portion into MA. Current thinking is the line of BP will be made in China to increase the profits.

ElToro
March 12, 2011, 10:10 PM
something id like to see is a bunch of commie MA state legislators stumbling over themselves to explain a S&W corporate move to their constituents. wringing their hands over the job losses and begging them to stay. especially after doing everything in their power to make it hard on gun owners in their state

a tx or az would probly give them a huge tax break incentive to move as well

benEzra
March 12, 2011, 10:21 PM
W.E.G., what model is that revolver, and when was it made?

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/32-20/DSCN6549smaller.jpg

Owen
March 12, 2011, 10:29 PM
I don't buy #2.

More likely the increasing number of onerous environmental, safety and labor regulations along with higher and higher corporate taxes are what's harming manufacturing.

How about people smart enough to do the job don't want to do what's perceived as dirty work. I've tried to hire basic labor for machine shops in the past. Its almost impossible.

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 12, 2011, 10:36 PM
How about people smart enough to do the job don't want to do what's perceived as dirty work. I've tried to hire basic labor for machine shops in the past. Its almost impossible.

This is most definitely a big part of the issue. We're raising a generation that wants to grow up to all be button pushers in a cubicle like on TV and not workers, farmers, etc.

However I would say likely the biggest issue of all, is simply corporate greed. Up top, the bean counters figure "why pay some American $14/hr, sick days, medical, vacation time, etc. when we can pay Chinese $.50/day and they'll migrate across the country and live in giant dormitories for months to work that job?"

With labor costs reduced, it smothers any competition who tries to stay in the USA. The chain reaction is for the competition to also move to nations that exploit their workforce and the cycle continues.

Also, It is short sighted to believe that a gradually more anti-gun country isn't a threat. Just look at the money gun companies have had to spend fighting after presumably sitting on their butts... they were rather close to losing the battle against indemnification in products liability suits... For every gun law, it's arguable that guns are removed from homes. And every home without a gun is a lost family of shooters and a generational effect.

One last time. Let's pretend S&W teleported their facility to AZ tomorrow. How does this change the ability of buyers in MA on Monday?

leadcounsel
March 13, 2011, 09:12 AM
One last time. Let's pretend S&W teleported their facility to AZ tomorrow. How does this change the ability of buyers in MA on Monday?

That's not my argument at all. If I made widgets in my hometown, and employed a lot of folks making widgets, I would not ignore pending regulations in my hometown that would gradually outlaw widgets, even if it didn't directly effect widgets sold elsewhere. I would lobby very hard to stop the laws outlawing widgets in my town, realizing that illegal widgets in 1/50th of the places widgets are sold/bought is bad for my biz...

TexasBill
March 13, 2011, 11:09 AM
Actually, moving S&W to China would be self-defeating. Chinese workers aren't making what they used to make: thousands of companies have gone under in the past couple of years because of the rising costs of labor and Chinese government policies.

Second, S&W would want to keep a manufacturing presence in the U.S. because of government contracts. Look at Beretta and FN-Herstal. Why go to all the expense of setting up a supply chain, manufacturing and transportation halfway around the world when you still have to have them here?

Remington is doing what Remington is doing because it's owned by Cerberus Capital Management which is sort of like being a blood-slave to Count Dracula. Cerberus is going to squeeze every penny of cost out of Remington, regardless of product quality, customer satisfaction, or anything else, because that's how they work. They don't care about long-term health; they're going to milk the cow as long as they can and sell it when the cow runs dry.

TXSurf
March 13, 2011, 01:11 PM
Mass. is doing what they can to keep them there. Mainly with tax breaks and incentives

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/smith_wesson_to_save_6_million.html

rscalzo
March 17, 2011, 04:56 PM
Actually, moving S&W to China would be self-defeating.

The word at the company is that the muzzle loader production is going overseas.

Zundfolge
March 17, 2011, 05:39 PM
Its kind of ironic actually ... the stupid firearm import laws that we all complain about are probably the one thing preventing American firearms manufacturing from leaving the country.

GLShooter
March 17, 2011, 07:08 PM
S&W is owned by an Arizona corporation. I don't see a benefit economically to move any manufacturing away from there. Look at Colt. They aren't going anywhere and where are they located?

Greg

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