Another firearms manufacturer considers leaving its home over restrictive gun laws
posted at 10:01 pm on March 4, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
Sure, Maryland. You expect Maryland.
But this story’s out of Colorado, where the state house passed a mag limit bill last week:
Colorado’s largest and most profitable manufacturer of high-capacity ammunition magazines has vowed to leave the state if lawmakers pass a measure banning the devices — a move officials with the company say could cost hundreds of jobs and upward of $85 million in potential spending this year.
Magpul’s threat has Democratic lawmakers scrambling to strike a balance that remains true to their goal of limiting the number of rounds a magazine can hold without frightening off businesses.
“If we’re able to stay in Colorado and manufacture a product, but law-abiding citizens of the state were unable to purchase the product, customers around the state and the nation would boycott us for remaining here,” said Doug Smith, Magpul’s chief operating officer. “Staying here would hurt our business.”
House Bill 1224 bans individuals from possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines of more than 15 rounds — an amendment earlier in the week raised this number from 10 rounds — but allows manufacturers to stay in Colorado and produce the devices.
That legislation made it out of a senate committee today in Colorado:
A Colorado Senate committee on Monday passed a measure that bans ammunition magazines of more than 15 rounds after several hours of testimony from a barrage of experts, law enforcement officials and victims of mass shootings.
House Bill 1224 passed on 3-2 party line vote and moves to the Senate floor on Friday.
This, and a handful of other restrictive gun bills, are playing with electoral fire in Colorado, especially when Colorado Democrats have proven so adept at making insensitive fools of themselves on the subject of the 2nd Amendment lately.
Second Amendment activists were out in force in Denver today:
Meanwhile, back on the East Coast, where presidential aspirant Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland is looking to pass restrictive gun laws, Virginia and West Virginia are busy wooing Beretta:
On Thursday, West West Virginia House Speaker Rick Thompson wrote Beretta suggesting his state is the most suitable destination for the company’s relocation.
“As you may be aware, West Virginia has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the country, only behind Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming,” Thompson wrote. “This combined with the state’s long support of the Second Amendment and our close proximity to your current headquarters, makes us an excellent choice for Beretta USA in your relocation efforts.”
Thompson also assured the gun maker West Virginia will not support a gun control law like the one poised to pass Maryland’s legislature.
But Thompson faces competition from Virginia, Businessweek reports. Earlier this week, Virginia Republican lieutenant governor candidate and investment company executive Pete Snyder wrote to Beretta as well, noting his state’s friendly tax and gun climate. Snyder promised the company, whcih has a facility in Fredericksburg, “would be welcomed with open arms in all parts of the Commonwealth.”
Earlier this month, Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta, told the Maryland legislature his company has poured resources into the state, but the new laws — which would ban some of Beretta’s products — could drive the company and its tax dollars elsewhere.
“That commitment is not one-sided, though, and deserves the respect of a corresponding commitment from the local community and from the state Government,” he said. “Instead, we are confronted with a state government that wants to ban our products at a time, by the way, when numerous other state governments are courting our investment. It is worth noting that these other states also do not try to blame a product for human misconduct.”
Flee to friendlier climes, gun manufacturers. You have no obligation to invest in a state that is actively trying to destroy you, and those who blithely run off good jobs in bad times should pay a price for their decisions.