In February, firearms company Magpul informed members of the Colorado state legislature that they would leave the state if the anti-gun laws being considered were passed and became law.
Magpul is a relatively new company founded in 1999. Today they employ 600 people and generate close to $100 million in sales. Their primary business is the manufacture of 30 round clips and other accessories for assault and assault-style weapons, most of which is purchased by the US military.
Doug Smith, COO of Magpul said:
“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. Staying here would hurt our business.”
Once word got out that they were looking to relocate out of the state, they began to receive offers from states like Texas and South Carolina to bring their business to these more gun friendly states. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent Smith a letter telling him that South Carolina believes in the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.
This Wednesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed three of the anti-gun bills into law. The new laws limit magazines to no more than 15 rounds and requires backgrounds checks for all private and online gun sales.
On February 27, John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and president of the Senate, introduced a bill that would hold the manufacturer, seller or owner of any assault or assault-style weapon, liable for any damage the weapon causes in the state. In introducing his bill into the state senate, Morse said:
“The bill I envision… it will deem these guns as unreasonably dangerous. It will not ban them, it will just hold people strictly liable, strictly responsible for what occurs. The effect is that everyone in the chain will be responsible for the actions of that gun.”
“It will only apply to military-style assault weapons, firearms that are not handguns, bolt action rifles or shotguns.”
Holding to their promise to leave the state if any of these anti-gun laws passed, Magpul announced on their Facebook page that they are already transitioning their business out of the state of Colorado. Their post read:
“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.”
Hopefully, other firearms manufactures in Colorado, New York and Maryland will follow Magpul’s example and relocate their operations to more gun friendly states like Texas or South Carolina. Why would they want to operate in a state that legislates against their business and forbids residents from purchasing many of their products?