Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign several hotly-debated gun control bills into state law tomorrow, including a magazine ban. If he does, as promised, Magpul will leave the state.
Staff spokesman Eric Brown confirmed that the Governor will sign the bills when they land on his desk. The bills also include mandatory background checks and will require that the people pay a tax on each background check performed.
In response, Magpul made this statement on their Facebook page a few hours ago:
“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 Colorado 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.”
Originally as worded, the bill would have made it illegal for Magpul to continue to manufacture magazines in the state. Backpedaling, legislators amended the law to allow manufacturers to continue to make magazines, in a restricted manner, requiring that every magazine be serialized and include a date of manufacture stamped or engraved on the magazine.
Magpul was not impressed with the changes, indicating that it is hypocritical to say that in one state their magazines make assault weapons while they’re perfectly acceptable in any others. Some Colorado law enforcement has already stepped forward to say they will not enforce these laws.
“Our company could not, in good conscience, continue to manufacture our products in a state where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from purchasing and owning them. ” said president and CEO of Magpul Richard Fitzpatrick. “The passage of this bill will do nothing to enhance public safety, but will force us to immediately begin taking our business to another state.”
Magpul pays Colorado about $85 million a year in taxes, 25 percent more than what the state will lose due to the federal budget sequester.
Many other states are pitching for Magpul to relocate, including Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Before the bill takes effect, Magpul has promised to flood the Colorado market with magazines, with their “Boulder Airlift” program, ensuring that even as they quit the state, they’ll still be making friends in it.
And hopefully for everyone else, Magpul’s downtime will be short, with new product getting to store shelves without delay.