Colorado gun company says new law is forcing relocation to Texas, Wyoming


In this Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, workers assemble 30-round capacity ammunition magazines for high-velocity rifles, inside the Magpul Industries plant in Erie, Colo. Magpul, one of the country’s largest producers of ammunition magazines for guns, is leaving Colorado and moving operations to Wyoming and Texas because of new state laws that include restrictions on how many cartridges a magazine can hold. (Brennan Linsley/AP, File)

A Colorado firearms accessory manufacturer says it will relocate to Wyoming and Texas as soon as this year because of a recent law, as even more gun measures may be up for a vote this November.

The company, Magpul, had threatened to leave in March after state lawmakers restricted sales of ammunition magazines. Arms companies cited similar restrictions passed in Connecticut, New York and Maryland last year in guiding relocations. Now, Magpul says it will officially join the list by moving to Texas and Wyoming thanks to the help of governors and business organizations in both states.

“The company began a nationwide search for a new base of operations after legislation was enacted in Colorado that dramatically limits the sale of firearms accessories – the core of Magpul’s business,” the business said in a statement. “Magpul plans on initially transitioning 92% of its current workforce outside of Colorado within 12-16 months and will maintain only limited operations in Colorado.”

The purple state has become a focal point in the fight over gun rights and restriction, attracting hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside spending. A campaign led by gun-rights proponents succeeded in recalling two Democratic state lawmakers in September — a state first. A third resigned in November amid a similar threat that could have turned control of the state Senate over to Republicans.

Groups on both sides are now pursuing ballot measures for later this year, The Denver Post reports. One measure, proposed by a former police chief and a University of Denver professor, would limit concealed handguns on college campuses. Another overturns all gun restrictions passed last year. Both have further hurdles to overcome before being placed on the ballot.

Despite the late-2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., gun-rights proponents  last year were more successful in pursuing their agenda than supporters of gun control. Roughly 1,500 bills were introduced in the year since the December 2012 shooting and, of those, 109 are now law, according to The New York Times. Seventy of the enacted laws loosen gun restrictions, while just 39 tighten them.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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