BYERS, Colo. — Colorado saw what could be its last major gun competition this weekend in Byers.
The 2013 Noveske Area 2 Multi-Gun Championship brought nearly 200 people to the Eastern Plains from about 10 states for four days.
At the multi-gun contest, instead of using bullets to fire back against what they say are bad gun laws, they used their wallets.
“We won’t be back,” said competitor Clint Gerner, who drove in from St. Paul, Minnesota with two others.
“My competitors spend $1,000 to come to the match. That is money that is going to be gone from Byers, Strasburg and the motels they are staying at—gone,” said match organizer Mark Passamaneck of Arvada.
Counting just the 140 competitors that were there, that’s at least $140,000 blown to bits.
Passamaneck said that money will stay out of the state because competitors won’t risk breaking a new law that limits magazines to no more than 15 rounds. A standard magazine for a modern sporting rifle is 30 rounds.
“I don’t want to bring it in without proof I bought this magazine before July 1, 2013. Then, have someone question it and have the chance of breaking the law,” said Gerner.
Besides national gun matches, competitors said state lawmakers have shot themselves in the economic foot.
Not only have hunters called on a boycott of Colorado, some gun-related companies, including Magpul, said they’re leaving.
“I own a firearms company and we have to change some of the things we do. We have to move some product out-of-state to manufacture,” Passamaneck said.
James Casanova of Carbon Arms said the magazine tubes they make will also be impacted.
“We’ll have to discontinue those parts and stop selling them here,” he said.
But for Casanova, the bigger issue is government targeting the Second Amendment and his ability to protect himself from physical harm—not just economic.
New Mexico and Nebraska have invited this competition to come to their states next year, but competitors are hopeful a constitutional referendum will repeal the laws and keep it in Colorado.