Colorado-based Magpul Industries is world-renowned for their signature PMAG polymer AR-15 magazines and firearm accessories. However, the tactical industry giant may soon be pulling up their roots if a number of bills proposed by the state’s lawmakers are passed. In a Facebook post yesterday, Magpul described Colorado gun owners and manufacturers as “facing some extreme challenges to firearms rights.”
Magpul has been a supporter of firearm rights on a local and national level for years, and recent events that have re-awakened the gun control debate in United States now have a chance of directly impacting the company. The bills circulating in the state legislature carry with them provisions to ban “high capacity” magazines (those with capacities greater than 10 rounds) and limit their production.
This hits home hard for manufacturers like Magpul, which would be unable to produce entire lines of products in Colorado if the bills were to be passed. If that happened, Magpul would have to move operations elsewhere and displace roughly 900 direct and subcontracted employees.
Magpul is hardly the only gun maker that would be affected by the new bills, Colorado manufacturers and owners of so-called “assault weapons” could be subject to civil liability for damages. Reuters reports that this is in opposition to a 2005 federal law that shields gun makers from being accountable for usage of their products in crimes.
In its statement, Magpul reiterated that the new bills do not improve public safety in the state, but instead will push industries and revenue elsewhere.
Below is Magpul’s release as posted on Facebook:
In addition to the national battle to protect our firearms rights, many states are currently engaged in their own fights. Here in CO, a state with a strong heritage of firearm and other personal freedoms, we are facing some extreme challenges to firearms rights. We have been engaged in dialogue with legislators here presenting our arguments to stop legislation from even being introduced, but our efforts did not deter those of extreme views.
After the NRAs visit last week, several anti-freedom bills were introduced by CO legislators, and a very aggressive timeline has been set forth in moving these bills forward.
The bills include:
HB 1229, Background checks for Gun Transfers–a measure to prohibit private sales between CO residents, and instead require a full FFL transfer, including a 4473.
HB 1228, Payment for Background Checks for Gun Transfers– a measure that would require CO residents to pay for the back logged state-run CBI system (currently taking 3 times the federally mandated wait time for checks to occur) instead of using the free federal NICS checks.
And finally, HB 1224, Prohibiting Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines–a measure that bans the possession, sale, or transfer of magazines over 10 round capacity. The measures and stipulations in this bill would deprive CO residents of the value of their private property by prohibiting the sale or transfer of all magazines over 10 rounds. This bill would also prohibit manufacture of magazines greater than 10 rounds for commercial sale out of the state, and place restrictions on the manufacture of military and law enforcement magazines that would cripple production.
We’d like to ask all CO residents to please contact your state legislators and the members of the Judiciary Committee and urge them to kill these measures in committee, and to vote NO if they reach the floor.
We also ask you to show your support for the 2nd Amendment at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb 12, for the magazine ban committee hearing and Wednesday,
Feb 13, for the hearing on the other measures.
Due to the highly restrictive language in HB 1224, if passed, and we remained here, this measure would require us to cease PMAG production on July 1, 2013.
In short, Magpul would be unable to remain in business as a CO company, and the over 200 jobs for direct employees and nearly 700 jobs at our subcontractors and suppliers would pick up and leave CO. Due to the structure of our operations, this would be entirely possible, hopefully without significant disruption to production.
The legislators drafting these measures do so in spite of the fact that nothing they are proposing will do anything to even marginally improve public safety in CO, and in fact, will leave law-abiding CO residents less able to defend themselves, strip away rights and property from residents who have done nothing wrong, and send nearly 1000 jobs and millions in tax revenue out of the state.
We like CO, we want to continue to operate in CO, but most of all, we want CO to remain FREE.
Please help us in this fight, and let your voices be heard!
Image copyright iStockPhoto.com/Guy Sagi, featured slider image copyright iStockPhoto.com/Anatoly Vartanov