- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2014

ERIE, Colo. — Magpul Industries, a leading firearms accessories maker, will relocate its extensive manufacturing facilities to Texas and Wyoming in response to the Colorado legislature’s enactment of sweeping gun control legislation last year, the company announced Thursday.

At the same time, the company plans to maintain a toehold in Colorado to continue to fight the gun control bills passed by the Democrat-dominated General Assembly and signed in March by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

“Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” said Magpul CEO Richard Fitzpatrick, who started the privately held company in 1999 from the basement of his home in Longmont, Colo. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control

The cost to Colorado’s economy, according to the company: $85 million in local economic activity and up to 400 supply-chain jobs.

Magpul officials plan to split the company’s corporate and manufacturing arms, which are now in Erie, Colo. The corporate headquarters will relocate to Texas, and a site-selection committee has narrowed the destination to three places in the state’s north-central region.

Meanwhile, Magpul’s manufacturing and distribution facility will move about 80 miles north to Cheyenne, Wyo.

Company officials said they plan to lease a 58,000-square-foot building for two to three years while they construct a 100,000-square-foot custom facility as part of the Cheyenne Business Parkway.

Wyoming Gov. Matthew Mead, a Republican, said in a statement that “Wyoming and Magpul are a great match.”

“Bringing an innovative and growing manufacturing operating to Wyoming is a significant step for the state,” said Mr. Mead. “We offer Magpul an attractive tax environment, stable and reasonable regulations, not to mention a firm commitment to uphold the Second Amendment.”

The move is a particular coup for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who openly wooed gun companies based in states considering restrictive laws to consider the Lone Star State as a base.

“As you consider your options for responding to unwarranted government intrusion into your business, you may choose to consider relocating your manufacturing operations to a state that is more business-friendly,” Mr. Perry wrote in an open letter to more than two dozen gun companies in February. “There is no other state that fits the definition of business-friendly like Texas.”

Mr. Perry said Thursday that he was “proud that Magpul is the latest employer to join the ranks of companies that call Texas home.”

In addition, Magpul, which is a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by 55 Colorado sheriffs against the state law limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, plans to retain “limited operations” in Colorado. About 92 percent of its workforce will relocate outside Colorado within 12 to 16 months, according to a company release.

“We made a commitment publicly that we would not abandon the law-abiding gun owners in our own state, and we want to honor that,” said Duane Liptak, Magpul director of product management and marketing.

Pushed out by new gun laws

Story Continues →