Magpul: If Hickenlooper signs gun-control bill, we’re outta here

posted at 11:21 am on March 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Two weeks ago, they were merely considering their options.  Late last night, though, the executives at Colorado-based Magpul made it official on their Facebook page.  If Governor John Hickenlooper signs the gun-control bill that limits magazine capacities — their core business — they will leave Colorado for friendlier venues and take hundreds of jobs with them (via Instapundit):

Apparently Gov Hickenlooper has announced that he will sign HB 1224 on Wednesday. We were asked for our reaction, and here is what we said:

We have said all along that based on the legal problems and uncertainties in the bill, as well as general principle, we will have no choice but to leave if the Governor signs this into law. We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first. We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.

It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and Governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives, and the 2014 election to undo these wrongs against responsible Citizens.

Indeed, Hickenlooper has already indicated he would sign the bill:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign legislation Wednesday that sets limits on ammunition magazines and expands background checks for firearms, marking a Democratic victory in a state where gun ownership is a treasured right and Second Amendment debate has played out in the wake of two mass shootings.

The measures proposed are some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and their passage comes after weeks of tense legislative battles. Republicans and gun rights supporters put up a major fight against the measures in this politically moderate state, while Democrats made them the centerpieces of a package of legislative proposals drafted in reaction to shooting rampages at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school last year.

It’s not that Democrats didn’t try to woo Magpul into staying.  They added an amendment that made it legal to manufacture and transport high-capacity magazines … as long as Magpul sold them anywhere but in Colorado.  Republicans blasted Democrats for their hypocrisy:

A Colorado-based magazine manufacturer said it would leave the state if the new restrictions were passed, taking hundreds of jobs with it. Democrats tried to ease the concerns from Magpul Industries, saying the company can still manufacture higher-capacity magazines if they were sold out of state.

Waller blasted Democrats on that amendment, saying it was hypocritical because they are telling the company “you can sell (magazines) at any other place where any of these tragic shootings have happened.”

Waller called the exemption “a monumental inconsistency in their thought process.”

What was the message here? Colorado won’t allow people to purchase high-capacity magazines because that will supposedly decrease violence, but they’re happy to export them to other states? One can’t blame Magpul for failing to trust Democrats to leave that loophole open for very long, not after their demonstration of hostility to Magpul’s industry.

Meanwhile, two Pennsylvania legislators want to roll out the red carpet for Magpul, using a reference to Barack Obama in its pitch:

As some states that are home to manufactures of guns and gun components move to pass stricter gun regulations, two Pennsylvania state representatives have laid out a welcome mat in hopes of drawing the companies to the state.

Representatives Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, and Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County, issued a joint news release Monday that announces they are reaching out to several out-of-state gun and gun component makers, including Beretta, Magpul and Remington, and encouraging them to move to the Keystone State.

“We’ll be more than happy to have additional manufacturing,” Grove said. “Pennsylvania is known all over the country for clinging to its guns, and it’s time that we use this reputation to our advantage.”

In reaching out to the companies, Pennsylvania has joined a long list of states that have already done so.

Clearly, Colorado isn’t welcoming manufacturing jobs.  Pennsylvania may be a good option for Magpul, one no doubt they will consider as they start moving jobs out of Colorado.


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