Colorado is losing one of the largest ammunition accessory companies in the nation as Magpul Industries reacts to the state’s passing of stricter gun control laws by leaving for Texas and Wyoming. The company first promised that they would be leaving the state if stricter gun laws were imposed last March. An official announcement made on Thursday confirmed that Magpul will be making good on its promise to move elsewhere.
The Colorado company primarily manufactures ammunition magazines, in addition to a variety of other firearms accessories. Among the gun laws passed in Colorado last spring is one that places a restriction on the number of cartridges that a magazine can legally hold, allowing a maximum of 15 rounds per weapon.
Magpul will reportedly be moving its headquarters to an as-of-yet undermined north Texas location and its production and distribution operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul CEO, Richard Fitzpatrick, says that moving the company’s extensive operations to both states will “allow Magpul to utilize the strengths of both Texas and Wyoming.” He further indicated that the locations chosen were those “that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility.”
Cheyenne, Wyoming appears to be welcoming the ammunition company’s flight from Colorado in the wake of stricter gun laws with open arms. Wyoming’s governor has assured the company of the state’s “firm commitment” to rights provided under the Second Amendment, and Cheyenne’s economic development organization is working on an attractive incentive package to help Magpul lessen the costs of relocation. Cheyenne officials are hopeful that the presence of a large manufacturer like Magpul may assist the city in attracting additional companies to set up operations there.
Magpul plans to move its operations over the course of about a year and will also move a number of its workers. The relocation affects about 200 jobs in total.
The gun laws passed in Colorado last spring were believed to be in part a response to the mass shootings at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The Democratic majority in the Colorado legislature led the fight for the new laws and while they were celebrated by some, others were outraged by what they perceived as limitations imposed upon their civil liberties. Negative reactions from gun rights advocacy groups ultimately led to the recall of two Democratic legislators and the resignation of a third.
There are more gun control regulations on the ballot for the Colorado legislature this year, including one that advocates a repeal of the most recently passed laws and another that calls for more restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons. Gun control laws have become one of the most hotly contested issues in the state, and Colorado is now a focal point for groups on both sides of the issue.
Magpul is not the first in the firearms industry to pull out of Colorado in the wake of the passing of stricter gun laws. HiViz Shooting Systems previously announced that it would be moving its operations to Wyoming as well. Other states, including Connecticut, New York and Maryland, have seen a similar exodus upon the passing of new gun restrictions.
By Michele Wessel