At least three Colorado businesses have promised to relocate out of state if Democrats pass HB13-1224, an anti-gun bill which would limit gun magazine capacity.
Magpul Industries, a Colorado gun accessory maker, was the first to announce its intentions, stating in no uncertain terms that it will relocate its facilities, 600 jobs, and $85 million of Colorado’s economy if HB13-1224 is passed into law.
From Magpul’s Facebook page, their official statement dated February 15th:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MAGPUL INDUSTRIES ANNOUNCES IT WILL LEAVE COLORADO IF GUN BILL PASSES
MOVE WOULD COST STATE 600 JOBS, $85 MILLION
Denver, Colorado – February 15th, 2013 – Magpul Industries, an Erie, Colorado, based manufacturer of firearms accessories, announced today that it will be forced to leave the state if House Bill 1224, which would ban standard capacity magazines, becomes law. The announcement was made to Governor Hickenlooper, state legislators, members of the media, and in a full-page advertisement to appear in the Denver Post on Sunday.
Richard Fitzpatrick, Founder, President, and CEO of Magpul Industries, said that regardless of any amendments that may be worked into the bill, he will no longer be able to continue to do business in Colorado if his core product is made illegal.
“Our company could not, in good conscience, continue to manufacture our products in a state where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from purchasing and owning them. ” Fitzpatrick said. “The passage of this bill will do nothing to enhance public safety, but will force us to immediately begin taking our business to another state.”
A proponent of the bill argued that with the amendment language, the choice to stay or leave was up to Magpul. Fitzpatrick responded, “Our relationship with our customers across the country would be severely damaged if this bill passes and we stay. We’ve already heard word of potential boycotts if that happens. They (legislators) really need to understand that our customer base is as passionate about freedoms as we are, and staying here if this bill passes would cripple the company. Make no doubt about it…we have no choice, and would be forced to leave in order to save the business.”
Magpul cited the example of the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show, which was canceled earlier this year after the organizers announced that it would not permit a popular category of firearm, like the ones Magpul makes accessories for, in the show. Public outcry from the customer base forced exhibitors to withdraw from participation, causing the cancellation of the show, and an estimated loss of $70 million of show revenue for hotels, restaurants, merchants, and other businesses in Pennsylvania, where the show was to be held.
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.
“It is heartbreaking to me, my employees, and their families, to think that we will be forced to leave,” Fitzpatrick said. “But if HB13-1224 passes, we will simply have no choice.”
And again, from Magpul’s Facebook page, another statement dated February 17th:
We’re hearing some rumors that the Gov and the Dem caucus think we are bluffing. Just to clarify for them, then…we’re not a political company. We dont play political games. We’ve made our position very clear, very publicly. We would not survive lying to our customer base, nor would we ever consider it. If you pass this, we will leave, and you will own it. We’ve already got plans in place to get PMAG manufacturing moved rapidly, and the rest of the company will follow. We will make sure to at least have a small remain-behind operation through the 2014 elections so that we can remind folks why we are gone.
And to put some money where their mouth is, here’s the full-page ad Magpul printed in the Denver Post:
Next, Alfred Manufacturing announced that if Magpul leaves Colorado, it too will follow and take with it another 200 jobs.
Alfred Manufacturing is a plastic component vendor to Magpul, and is already actively seeking states to which it may relocate. From the Denver Post:
North Denver’s Alfred Manufacturing Co. has grown from 40 employees in 2008 to 150 largely because of the work provided by Magpul, said the company’s third-generation chief executive, Greg Alfred.
“If House Bill 1224 passes, we will relocate part or all of our operations out of state,” Alfred warned Gov. John Hickenlooper and members of the state legislature in a letter Friday.
Alfred said plans for a $1 million expansion to add another 15,000-square-foot building to the 60,000 square feet the company has at West 44th Avenue and Elati Street are on hold.
Now the latest to announce a move if Magpul leaves is Denver-based Lawrence Tool & Molding, taking an additional 40 jobs out of Colorado’s economy.
From the Denver Post:
Denver-based Lawrence Tool & Molding will take jobs and machinery out of state if Erie-based Magpul Industries follows through with threats to relocate, its owner warned Friday.
“Considering it is 60 percent of our work, we will do and go along with whatever it takes to keep that business,” said Lloyd Lawrence, owner of the 35-year-old company.
The company employs 63 people and Lawrence said about 38 of those jobs might relocate, along with machinery.
Expect more of this domino effect to play out and hit real freedom while hurting real people.
More businesses will leave, more jobs will be lost, decreased revenue and prosperity will plague Colorado unless this leftist agenda is stopped. All because Democrats must execute their gun-grabbing agenda while they merrily float in their sea of blue legislative control.
Remember, the anti-gun bill is under the guise of “public safety.” Of course.
HB13-1224 concludes with this:
SECTION 3. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby fines, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.
Contrary to their deceptive narrative, Democrats and leftists really do NOT care about jobs and people as they push anti-gun legislation.
Control is the end game. Freedom is of no consequence.
Prove me wrong, Colorado Democrats, as you take this bill into the state Senate this week.
Prove that people, jobs, and prosperity in this state really do matter, and vote NO on the gun bills which are surely already on your desks.
Michelle Morin is a conservative blogger and speaker for freedom and America’s founding principles. Join her for updates here.
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