Guns and Gear

Manufacturer threatens to leave Colorado if hi-cap magazine bill becomes law

Now that Colorado lawmakers have moved a bill that would ban high-capacity magazines one step closer to becoming law, the state is one step closer to losing a company that manufactures those magazines, along with its 600 jobs and an estimated $85 million that it contributes to the state economy.

Magpul Industries, a Colorado company that makes 30-round magazines and other assault rifle components for military and law enforcement customers, has vowed to leave the state if Democratic lawmakers pass a bill outlawing its products.

House Democrats relied on their majority status to pass several pieces of controversial gun control legislation on to the Senate Monday. Among them is a ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

Magpul has taken to Twitter, Facebook and old-school print media in an all-out PR war against the bill, promising that if it becomes law, it’s leaving Colorado for a more gun-friendly state.

“We’re hearing some rumors that (Gov. John Hickenlooper) and the Dem caucus think we are bluffing,” the company wrote on its Facebook page late Sunday. “We’ve made our position very clear, very publicly. … If you pass this, we will leave, and you will own it.”

As of mid-afternoon Monday, the post had nearly 23,000 “likes,” more than 4,000 comments and was shared nearly 7,000 times.

Even though the original bill was amended to protect companies like Magpul from prosecution, the company has made clear that its business would suffer it if stayed.

The bill passed the House by a 34-31 vote, with three Democrats voting against it. Hickenlooper has said that he supports the bill and is expected to sign it if it passes the Senate.

Magpul said in a Facebook post that it’s prepared to move quickly, but that it would leave a small crew behind through the 2014 elections “so that we can remind folks why we are gone.”

The decision, the company said, is rooted in both principle and economics.