Smith & Wesson joined with local leaders in the Volunteer State last week to officially break ground on their new plant in Tennessee. 

The plant, announced in September as a shift away from an increasingly anti-gun atmosphere in its traditional home in Massachusetts, will bring 750 jobs to the Maryville, Tennessee, area by 2023. 

"This afternoon, we broke ground on our new headquarters in 2A Sanctuary Maryville, TN," noted S&W on social media, along with images of the groundbreaking. 

On hand for the event was Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican who met the gun maker with open arms. 

"Proud to be in Maryville to officially welcome Smith & Wesson Inc. to TN & break ground on their new headquarters," he said. "This is a big win for East TN, & it speaks volumes of our state’s pro-business reputation, skilled workforce & commitment to the 2nd Amendment."

The transition by S&W to the state is not the first time that a gun company has shifted operations to Tennessee for friendlier climes. In 2016, Beretta opened its new production site in Gallatin rather than expand its operations in Maryland. The company had announced the move following the signing of a law in Maryland that restricts the number of rounds in a magazine to 10.

Figures provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation stress the firearm industry already employs nearly 7,800 people in Tennessee through direct or indirect jobs and contributes over $1.07 billion in economic impact. The firearm industry pays $130.5 million in federal and state taxes annually and contributed an additional $22.1 million in excise taxes that benefit wildlife conservation.

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