U.S. Sen. Susan Collins visits workers at Smith & Wesson in Houlton in this November 2020 file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Smith & Wesson Brands, one of the oldest firearms makers in the U.S., said Thursday that it plans to move its headquarters and other operations to Tennessee, but its Houlton factory will not be affected by the change.

The move, scheduled for 2023, came as the company’s CEO Mark Smith said it had been left with no other alternative but to move. He cited recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts which, if enacted, would prohibit the company from making certain firearms in the state. Its current headquarters are in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Smith said even if the legislation doesn’t pass, it affects products that made up 60 percent of the company’s revenue last year.

“The unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson,” he said.

He also cited support for gun rights, a business-friendly environment and affordability for the move to Tennessee. The company will close facilities in Connecticut and Missouri as part of the move and will keep some manufacturing in Springfield.

Smith & Wesson said the relocation will have no effect on its operations in Houlton. The Maine factory produces handgun slides and handcuffs. The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.