Guns and Gear

Colorado gun company keeps its fans in suspense over new location

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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Colorado gun parts manufacturer Magpul Industries is nearly ready to pull the trigger on announcing its new headquarters, but its legions of supporters — many of whom have taken to the company’s Facebook page to post near-frantic appeals for their home states — will have to wait for the news a little longer.

In a Facebook post late Tuesday night, the company wrote that it needed a little more time to decide. An announcement had been expected after the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston last weekend.

“We’d like to thank the tens of thousands of visitors to our booth at the NRA show as well as the numerous posters here on our FB page for your support and for the generous invitations to relocate to your home states,” the company wrote. “There are many factors at work in our decisions, including business climate, tax structure, legislative environment, regulatory burdens, culture, workforce, etc., and any decision that did not consider all these areas carefully would not only be ill-advised, but irresponsible to our employees, our customers, and the brand.”

Magpul is moving out of Colorado in protest of strict gun control laws that go into effect July 1. Among them is a law banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds; Magpul makes magazines with a standard 30-round capacity for law enforcement, military and private customers.

Despite an exemption in the law allowing companies to make the banned magazines, Magpul has been clear that the move is a matter of principle.

The decision has been lauded on the company’s Facebook page, which has become a virtual bulletin board for people wishing to advertise how gun- and business-friendly their states are.

Magpul employs about 200 people and contributes $85 million annually to the Colorado economy, making it a big prize for whichever state it chooses.

Most of the Facebook commenters on Monday lobbied hard for Texas. Earlier in the year, Gov. Rick Perry sent a personal letter to Magpul executives touting Texas’s tax climate, its labor pool and its commitment to the Second Amendment.

Magpul wrote that Perry and his staff met with the company during the NRA convention, as did many state representatives courting it.

“We have some additional visits and meetings that will be taking place in the near future with the short list of remaining potential locations,” the company said in its Facebook post. “Numerous preparations for executing the move while minimizing disruptions to production are already underway.”

The company has already begun producing gun sights and 30-round magazines outside of Colorado. Another Colorado gun-parts company, HiViz Shooting Systems, announced last week that it was moving to Laramie, Wyo., in protest of Colorado’s new gun control laws.

“We are eager to make more specific announcements as soon as we can responsibly do so without sabotaging our ongoing efforts and negotiations,” Magpul wrote, “and we appreciate your support and understanding until then.”

By early Monday morning, the post had been shared nearly 300 times and gotten nearly 1,000 comments.

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