SMH (“Shaking my head”). That’s really what comes to my mind when I think about Colorado’s decision to push Magpul Industries out of the state because of its gun-control agenda — especially in light of how well the magazine and firearm accessories manufacturer is doing since it vacated the Centennial State circa 2014.
You’ll recall that back in 2013 the state’s Legislature opted to ban magazines with a capacity greater than 15 rounds in response to a shooting at an Aurora theater that left 12 people dead and more than 70 others wounded.
Foolishly, instead of blaming the individual responsible for the tragedy, lawmakers targeted the state’s gun laws indicating that they weren’t tough enough and that if they banned certain magazines they’d “save lives” and prevent future mass killings.
Anyone with a brain knows the folly of this approach. We can literally destroy every firearm and magazine in this country (which would render every good guy defenseless in the face of evil) and yet bad people will still find a way to take innocent lives. Whether it’s with a kitchen knife, a semi truck, or even a pressure cooker bomb there are numerous ways for bad people to do bad things to good people. Gun bans and mag bans do nothing to stop evil. They only impair a law-abiding citizen’s ability to defend himself or herself.
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Yet, Colorado lawmakers refused to acknowledge the significant flaws with their approach and rolled out the new law that was a direct slap in the face to Magpul, which set up shop in Erie, Colorado, in 1999.
Although the executives of Magpul have great affinity for Colorado, they knew they had to get out of Dodge. The political class was hellbent on creating an environment that was growing increasingly hostile to one’s Second Amendment rights (It should be noted that this anti-gun crusade had serious repercussions for several lawmakers. On the grassroots level, pro-gun activists worked to recall two senators, former State Senate President John Morse and State Senator Angela Giron, and forced another one, State Sen. Evie Hudak, to resign. Turns out that their antipathy for the Second Amendment cost them all their political livelihood).
So, Magpul announced its departure and, whaddayaknow, they had more than a few suitors willing to give them a warm welcome. Ultimately, Magpul decided to move its headquarters to Texas and its operations to Wyoming.
The Wyoming deal was great, as the state offered up $8.3 million to Magpul, only $3.7 of which would have to be paid back. In exchange, Wyoming expected to see gains in excess of $14.3 million from tax revenue, leasing agreements and job creation.
Today its 185,000-square-foot facility in Cheyenne employees 380 people, which is about 180 more than were employed at the 100,000-square-foot facility in Erie.
That payroll number may grow even more though now that Magpul has announced a lucrative deal with the Marine Corps. Moving forward, Marines going into combat will exclusively carry Magpul magazines.
On Tuesday, Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham, who opposed the magazine ban, lamented what his state has lost.
“My take is there is no big surprise here,” the Republican leader from Canon City told the Gazette. “You tell a company they can’t sell a product in your state, when it’s a good product and a popular product. They move across the state line, they get a lot of support and they get a big contract. We lost not only the jobs they had when they were here, we lost the jobs they’ve grown into since and we’re losing all the jobs they’re going to grow into in future years with this contract.”
“Once you have the Marine contract, I don’t see how the other branches won’t follow suit eventually,” he added. “That’s a massive, massive contract just a short distance down the road. We lost that.”
As to whether there was any material benefit from the magazine ban, Grantham said, “What good did this gun law do? Not a blasted bit.”
Amen. Colorado’s loss is Wyoming’s gain. Hopefully, other anti-gun states will learn from Colorado’s mistake.