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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CO Governor Signs Gun Control Bill: Magpul, Announces Relocation Plans

By Susan Duclos

On March 9, 2013, Magpul, the largest manufacturer of ammunition magazines in Colorado, announced plans to relocate if the Governor of Colorado signed the restrictive gun control bills, including the one limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds or less.

As we have previously stated, HB 1224, if signed into law will require us to move operations out of Colorado. This is a process that will take some organization/negotiation with potential new location(s).

Work on relocation of production assets has already started and as we move through various scenarios, we will be unable to comment on possible new locations or details of the move until decisions have been finalized.

On Monday, after Colorado Governor Hickenlooperannounced he would sign the bill, Magpul announced, via their Facebook page, the plan to move operations out of Colorado would begin "almost immediately."

Apparently Gov Hickenlooper has announced that he will sign HB 1224 on Wednesday. We were asked for our reaction, and here is what we said:

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 CO 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.

The gun control measures were signed by Hickenlooper and Magpul has reconfirmed plans to relocate their operations:

With the signing of the HB 1224, we want to reassure Colorado residents, now officially in occupied territory, that the "Boulder Airlift" will continue until we can no longer legally ship to CO residents at the approach of the July 1 deadline, so long as demand continues.

We are looking at additional ways to give Coloradans the opportunity to buy the magazines they need prior to the enactment date, as although we've been swamped with tens of thousands of orders, our shipping department limitations have only allowed us to get a few hundred thousand magazines out to CO residents...a small portion of our monthly production. We'll continue to support the Airlift as long as demand exists, and up to the active date of the legislation, and we've allocated a little over a million magazines for the effort up to that point, give or take.

Customers in the rest of the country should rest assured that the airlift only takes a small portion of our production, and magazines and other products are continuing to ship to the rest of the nation. Our transition to a new home will occur in a phased and orderly a manner to allow us to continue to serve our customers during the move, as well as to allow an orderly transition for affected employees. We are actively working on those plans.
Magpul has more on the “Boulder Airlift” program on its website.

More from Colorado Hometown Weekly:

"We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside (Colorado) within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases," the statement reads. "We will likely become a mult-istate operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected."

Visitors to the company's Facebook page have left messages urging Magpul to locate in their states.
"Come to Little Rock, AR. Super gun friendly here. We would love the industry and are a right to work state!" wrote one visitor.

A Magpul enthusiast from a neighboring state kept the plea simple and straightforward.
"Utah wants you," she wrote.

The company blamed a "social agenda from outside the state" for the gun control bill's passage, but said Colorado residents can fight back against the legislation "through recalls, ballot initiatives and the 2014 election."

Magpul employs just over 200 people.

According to a prior statement from Magpul, this move will affect 200 direct jobs, 400 supply-chain jobs and the $85 million  annually to the Colorado economy.

Magpul Industries directly employs 200 people, supports another 400 supply-chain jobs, and contributes over $85 million annually to Colorado’s economy. Doug Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Magpul, says that it is a difficult position to be in. "We could choose to stay in a state that wants our jobs and revenue, but not our products, and lose half the jobs we are fighting to save, or potentially the entire business, when our customers stop buying. Or, we can take the company and those 600 jobs out of Colorado to continue our growth and the growth of American manufacturing in a state that shares our values. This is not really a choice. It's an unfortunate and inevitable result of the actions of the Legislature if this bill passes."

Magpul was started over a decade ago by Fitzpatrick, a former U.S. Marine. It has become one of Colorado’s fastest growing businesses, successfully marketing its products to American and allied military forces, police departments, sporting goods stores, and thousands of responsible private citizens. Fitzpatrick says that the rich western culture and strong values of individual freedom and responsibility, traditionally found in Colorado, were one of the reasons the company chose to remain in the state.

At least the citizens of Colorado will know exactly who to blame for the loss of 600 jobs and the loss of $85 million annually to their economy.