Fact: Magpul Played Relocation Patty-Cake Well Before 2013

Colorado-based gun accessory maker Magpul.

Colorado-based gun accessory maker Magpul.

Last Friday, we talked about Erie-based gun magazine manufacturer Magpul's announcement that they intend to move most of their manufacturing jobs out of Colorado in the next 12-16 months. Allegedly in retaliation for the passage last year of House Bill 1224, legislation restricting the sale of gun magazines with a capacity over 15 rounds, coverage of Magpul's impending departure in the Denver Post failed to mention a key component of the story: millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives to offset the cost of moving to other states.

Reviewing this story over the weekend, there is one additional detail regarding Magpul and financial incentives to move out of Colorado that we think every Colorado voter reading this story should understand. Magpul was threatening Colorado economic development authorities with incentives from Wyoming and Texas–the very same states Magpul is now slated to move to–a year before the gun safety legislation Magpul cites as their reason for moving were introduced. As FOX 31's Eli Stokols reported last March during the legislative debate over the bills:

FOX31 Denver has confirmed that Magpul had discussions last year [2012--Pols] with the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade in which they asked about tax incentives and credits that might be available to them as they looked to consolidate their two facilities into a single space at North Park in Broomfield.

“They wanted some state support,” said Kathy Green, OEDIT’s spokeswoman. “We had some job training credits available but there was never any follow-up.”

According to Green, job training incentives would have been available only if the company was adding new jobs.

Last summer, Fitzpatrick reportedly told the governor’s office and Sam Bailey, the business development manager from OEDIT who toured Magpul’s facility, that Texas and Wyoming had lots of incentives for them should the company decide to relocate. [Pols emphasis]

“That was not a threat. We never made any threat to leave,” Doug Smith, Magpul’s Chief Operating Officer, told FOX31 Denver late Thursday afternoon. “We were just mentioning, hey, these other states have approached us, this is something they offer.”

Particularly in light of Magpul's subsequent decisions, it's absurd to suggest that the company mentioning "lots of incentives" available from Wyoming and Texas back in 2012 was not intended to spur a better incentive package from Colorado officials. Of course it was a "threat," and the only question is how implied or overt it was. The millions of dollars Magpul is getting from the state of Wyoming to build a huge new custom manufacturing plant may well have justified their decision to move without the gun safety legislation passed in Colorado last year. Those bills were used by Magpul to panic-sell thousands of high capacity magazines ahead of the new law taking effect, but that can't exactly be called a hardship for the company either. Remember, nothing in House Bill 1224 stops Magpul from manufacturing high capacity magazines in Colorado. 

Wouldn't it be great if a reporter would connect these dots in a news story? How much sympathy would Magpul still have if this had been reported along with the announcement they are leaving the state?

Because there's a real possibility that Magpul has been playing Colorado for suckers this whole time.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DawnPatrol says:

    Facts? Threads? Dots? Our illustrious (and ever-contracting) paper of record never heard of 'em. At least not for a decade or two.

    Given the departure of Adam Schrager, if it weren't for the work of the superb Eli Stokels, the Front Range would be utterly without meaningful political reportage.

    Magpul, like the most extreme individual gun sexualizers in general, hasn't an honest, honorable bone in its entire corporate body. I am positively jubilant at their departure from our evolving, increasingly blue state.

  2. Magpul is a bunch of pportunistic lying bastards. But then, I repeat myself.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Ironically, Magpul's public threat to leave based on the passage of those laws probably hurt their final incentive packages from Texas and Wyoming. Since they both knew Magpul was publicly committed to leaving Colorado, the 2012 deals initially waved under Magpul's nose probably shrank to some degree :-)

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      So what? States are free to offer incentives for business to relocate to them, and businesses are free to accept or reject such offers. It's called freedom.

      Magpul has been in the state of Colorado from the beginning, and I don't believe for a moment they would be moving if it wasn't for legislation that attacks the legitimacy of their products. This is wishful thinking and excuse making for Democrats who are worried that they just cost the state hundreds of jobs and $80 million in revenue.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        . . . which means that the nonsense that you don't believe is nearly as completely ridiculous as the nonsense you do!

      • roccoprahn says:

        Bullshit.

        I'm calling bullshit on you. You're now attempting to rewrite the history of Fitzgerald's move, positioning the move as a result of the Legislative action last session.

        You knew that's not true when you posted this. You know Fitzgerald wedged Texas and Wyoming for freebies and a handout, making magpul a true welfare queen, and lined his pockets while decrying the 5 Laws enacted as something they're not…………infringements on "2nd Amendment rights".

        Was it a shrewd business move by an amoral corporate leech? Aboslutely! He gets credit for that. He got over on the taxpayers in Texas and Wyoming, and changed the subject by feigning indignation over the Legislature's actions. If you're proud of that, say it, shout it, flip the world off, and strut.

        But don't even attempt to run the con that any gun safety/control actions had anything to do with it. By trying that, you expose the fact you have nothing concrete in your argument, and must rely on made up crap to make a point.

         

        • You've got this one right.

          The article explicitly notes that Magpul was moving. Maybe they were moving to Broomfield (from Erie). Or maybe they'd consider the very nice offers that Wyoming and Texas were making. All of this conversation with CO OECD was happening before the gun laws were an issue.

          Moderatus isn't the first supporter of Magpul / opponent of the new gun laws that has turned a deliberate blind eye to the basic facts presented in this article. And he's not the first conservative to ignore the multi-million dollar taxpayer funded corporate welfare issue, either. (Even in Colorado we can get away with that kind of giveaway without asking voters – they're just tax credits after all, not "government spending"…)

      • DawnPatrol says:

        roccoprhan is 100% spot-on.

        You are a shameless fraud, dissmebler and hypocrite, completely divorced from reality or decency.

      • OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

        Which is more believe from a business nowadays, hmm? 

        They either a) left the state because of Freedom! or b) they left the state because CO didn't have enough incentives to keep them here, and they used the cover of Freedom! to bolt to states already offering them incentives to move. 

        This blows your side's arguments wide open, and will make for some nice commericals to boot. They were going to move anyway, and they exploited politics to cost this state jobs without any fallout. 

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