As Colorado lawmakers get closer to passing a bill that would stringently restrict and regulate the sale and production of high capacity magazines in Colorado, Magpul, with their back against the wall, announced that they’ll just move to another state if the bill passes.
“Our company [Magpul] could not, in good conscience, continue to manufacture our products in a state where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from purchasing and owning them. ” Founder, President and CEO of Magpul Industries Richard Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “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.”
On Feb. 15 the Colorado General Assembly passed an amended version of House Bill 13-1224 in a preliminary vote. The bill would prohibit the sale, transfer or possession of a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, or more than five shotgun shells. In addition to restricting the ownership of those items, the bill would also heavily regulate the manufacturing or assembly of them. Manufacturers would have to engrave a serial number and date of assembly on magazines with a capacity larger the those previously mentioned.
The amendment added to the bill will exclude manufacturers, retailers that cater to out-of-state customers, and federal and local officials from penalty for possession or transfer of the items. However, civilians who already own high cap mags would also be excluded from penalty — just as long as they don’t try to sell them. The bill was introduced Feb. 7.
Despite being excluded from penalty, Magpul doesn’t see it working out in a state where their core product is illegal. Magpul warned Colorado lawmakers last week of potential issues the company would face because of the proposed law.
“Our relationship with our customers across the country would be severely damaged if this bill passes and we stay. We’ve already heard word of potential boycotts if that happens,” Fitzpatrick said and added, “[Legislators] really need to understand that our customer base is as passionate about freedoms as we are, and staying here if this bill passes would cripple the company.”
If Magpul does leave it will effect around 600 jobs and take away about $85 million from the Colorado’s economy. Magpul directly employs 200 people and supports 400 supply-chain jobs.
“It is heartbreaking to me, my employees, and their families, to think that we will be forced to leave,” Fitzpatrick said. “But if HB13-1224 passes, we will simply have no choice.”
The final vote on the bill is scheduled for tomorrow. If it passes it’ll go to the Senate for consideration, and if turned into law it’ll take effect July 1, 2013.