Rick Perry wants Colorado gun magazine maker to move to Texas

Texas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is rolling out a Texas-sized red carpet for Magpul Industries, the Colorado gun-parts manufacturer that has vowed to find greener pastures if a bill banning high capacity ammunition magazines, like those that Magpul makes, becomes law.

In a letter to Magpul founder and CEO Richard Fitzpatrick, Perry touts Texas’s business climate, citing such things as “low taxes, a fair legal system, reasonable regulations, a well-trained and skilled workforce and unmatched transportation and communications infrastructures.”

“There is no other state that fits the definition of business-friendly like Texas,” Perry wrote.

Perry mentioned gun rights only briefly, in a business context.

“While I support the efforts of law enforcement to identify, apprehend, prosecute and punish criminals who use firearms in the commission of their crimes,” he wrote, “I do not believe that imposing additional requirements or restrictions on businesses is the correct approach.”

The letter was dated Feb. 7, days before debate began on the high-capacity magazine ban, indicating that Magpul had anticipated little resistance to it in Colorado’s Democratic-controlled legislature and may have been putting out feelers. If so, Texas would have gotten a jump on other states that only started wooing the company after its threat to leave Colorado became public.

Magpul, which employs 200 people and supports another 400 jobs in its supply chain, estimated that it would add $85 million to the Colorado economy in 2013.

Controversy over gun control legislation could turn into a blessing for the company, as states position themselves to compete for its business. Wyoming and Utah are also courting the company, as is South Carolina, where Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan has made a big push to lure arms manufacturers.

But so far Texas is the only state where the governor is known to have made a personal appeal.

In his letter, Perry noted a slate of financial incentives Texas offers companies, including cash grants, sales tax exemptions and refunds, employee training programs and low-interest loans.