As the Denver Post's Carlos Illescas reported yesterday:
Magpul Industries threatened to leave Colorado after the legislature passed a measure banning weapons magazines with more than 15 rounds.
And now that is official.
The Erie-based ammunition magazine manufacturer said Thursday it is relocating its operations to Cheyenne and Texas.
Most of the 200-plus employees will [NOT–Pols correction] be moving to Wyoming, where manufacturing and distribution will take place, said spokesman Duane Liptak.
From plastic ammunition magazine maker Magpul's press release:
The company is relocating manufacturing, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul is leasing a 58,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility during the construction of a 100,000 square foot build-to-suit facility in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. The Wyoming relocation is being completed with support from Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne LEADS.
"Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” says Richard Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer for Magpul Industries. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”
Erie-based Magpul originally vowed to leave the state during debate over last year's House Bill 1224–legislation limiting the capacity of magazines sold in Colorado to 15 rounds. Their threat to leave was originally a negotiating chip for Republican opponents of the law, but became a retaliatory act once the bill was signed into law. Months dragged on, leading to news reports noting their lack of action to move out of Colorado as threatened. It's worth restating that nothing in House Bill 1224 prevents the manufacture of high capacity magazines in Colorado, only their retail sale to the general public. But Magpul, unlike their defenders in the legislature, was always honest about the fact that they were leaving the state to "defend principle"–not for any real economic reason created by the state's new gun safety laws.
Well, folks, as it turns out, there is an economic motive–but the Denver Post curiously omitted it.
Randy Bruns, CEO of Cheyenne’s economic development organization, said it is working with Magpul on a financial package that could include up to $13 million in state grants and loans to help the company move to Cheyenne. [Pols emphasis]
For Magpul, the passage of House Bill 1224 was an opportunity, not a crisis. Our understanding is that this company is no stranger to taxpayer-funded business incentives. And now, with the pretext of "defending principle" in hand, Magpul is leaving Colorado to custom build a new 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Cheyenne with millions of dollars in Wyoming state grants and loans. Apparently they're going to get more taxpayer money from Texas Gov. Rick Perry to build a corporate headquarters in north Texas.
Far from a hardship, could be the most profitable "crisis" in Magpul's history! We think that detail, and maybe the fact that this is the manufacturer of the high capacity magazines used in the Newtown school shootings a year ago, should be included in these stories about Magpul leaving the state. At the very least, readers will understand that this wasn't just some altruistic defense of principle. And others might not be as sorry to see them go at all.