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After Smith & Wesson announces move, Springfield mayor says he's focused on future

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts, said the news that Smith & Wesson will move its headquarters out of state is devastating, but he's focusing on helping those who will be impacted.

Mayor Domenic Sarno said the move by the gun manufacturer will mean the city will lose roughly 550 jobs.

According to the company, about 1,000 manufacturing positions will remain. Sarno said he's concentrating on what happens next.

"My goal here is the employees and the families that were affected to help them out," he said. "My other goal to to keep those 1,000 jobs here."

Sarno said he's in continuing discussions with the CEO of Smith & Wesson.

The mayor declined to say whether the news of the move took him by surprise, or whether he or the state tried to keep the company in town with a competing bid.

The entrance to Smith & Wesson in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Credit Alden Bourne / NEPM
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The entrance to Smith & Wesson in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Smith & Wesson also plans to close facilities in Deep River, Connecticut, and Columbia, Missouri. The jobs will shift to a new headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee, in 2023.

'Negative impact for Springfield — definitely'

Ciro Ricciardi, owner of Vito's Barber Shop, in Springfield, Massachusetts, on October 1, 2021.
Credit Alden Bourne / NEPM
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NEPM
Ciro Ricciardi, owner of Vito's Barber Shop, in Springfield, Massachusetts, on October 1, 2021.

Ciro Ricciardi owns Vito's Barber Shop, which is less than a mile away from the gun factory in Springfield. He said he's very disappointed by the news of the move.

"I have customers [who work there] that come here for years and it's been great in the community," he said. "I think it's going to be a big impact and probably hurt our area with the economy, you know, and just people leaving. It's going to be a negative impact for Springfield — definitely."

The company cited proposed state legislation as a major reason for the move. The bill would prohibit the manufacture of assault weapons in Massachusetts.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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