DENVER — No sooner had Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three gun-control bills into law Wednesday than the economic backlash began.
Magpul Industries confirmed that it would make good on its vow to leave Colorado if the governor signed the bill to limit ammunition-magazine capacity. The Erie-based company said on its Facebook page that it will start its transition “almost immediately.”
Magpul manufactures polymer firearms accessories, including ammunition magazines, employs about 200 people and supports another 400 supply-chain jobs.
“We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected,” said the company in a statement, adding that it expects to begin manufacturing its PMAG-brand magazines within 30 days of the bill-signing.
The company blamed political currents outside Colorado for the legislature’s gun-control package.
“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,” said the company.
Mr. Hickenlooper acknowledged at the signing ceremony that Magpul might leave Colorado, but said he had concluded that the legislation’s benefits “clearly” outweighed the costs.
“Those are 200 people who go to work every day, and if Magpul decides they do indeed have to leave, that’s a hardship, that’s difficult,” said Hickenlooper. “In any difficult piece of legislation, there’s pluses and minuses.”
In reaction to the legislation, Magpul launched in February the “Boulder Airlift,” named after the Berlin airlift following World War II, allowing Colorado residents to order online limited numbers of “standard-capacity” magazines directly from the manufacturer.
One of the bills signed Wednesday bans the sale and transfer of magazines holding more than 15 rounds, which Democrats referred to as “high-capacity” magazines. Gun-rights advocates disputed the description, saying 15-round magazines were standard size.
“Magpul Industries is working to supply as many as possible to the good people of Colorado,” said Magpul in a statement. “Similar to the Berlin Airlift, the Boulder Airlift will bring much-needed gun supplies to freedom-loving residents trapped inside occupied territory.”
Officials in at least a dozen states are attempting to lure Magpul to relocate to their states.