DENVER — Magpul Industries, the Boulder manufacturer threatening to leave Colorado should state lawmakers pass a ban on the high-capacity magazines they make, has launched an online campaign to drive up its sales in the state.
The online campaign by Magpul, dubbed the “Boulder Airlift” in a play on the Berlin Airlift of the late 1940, pledges to “bring much needed supplies to freedom-loving residents trapped inside occupied territory” by allowing Colorado residents to specially purchase limited quantities of magazines from its website.
The move is the latest effort by the company, which employs just more than 200 people, to fight House Bill 1224, which bans new magazines of more than 15 rounds.
The bill, which has already passed the full House, will get its first hearing in the Senate on Monday, along with six other gun control measures.
“There is the possibility that Colorado residents’ ability to purchase standard capacity magazines will soon be infringed,” says a post on Magpul’s Facebook page announcing the new online sales program.
“Before that happens, and Magpul is forced to leave the state in order to keep to our principles, we will be doing our best to get standard capacity PMAGs into the hands of any Colorado resident that wants them.”
Verified Colorado residents will be able to purchase up to 10 standard capacity AR/M4 magazines directly from the company, and will be given expedited, discounted $5 shipping.
“The fact that Magpul, a military contractor, has just now launched a website to sell to Colorado civilians raises question about how much they relied on that market to begin with,” said Laura Chapin, a spokeswoman for a coalition of groups backing the gun control bills.
Magpul’s new campaign features print ads that use Cold War imagery, showing a girl catching magazines as they are dropped from the belly of a vintage military plane.
The ad reads: “PMAG…new weapon of Democracy! Support a Free Colorado!”
Ironically, the military imagery is fitting for a company that is, as Chapin notes, largely a defense contractor, with millions of dollars in contracts with the governments and military of the United States, Great Britain and Israel.
In the House, lawmakers voted to amend H.B. 1224 so that Magpul and other manufacturers will be able to continue the production of high-capacity magazines at their Erie plant for sale in other states.
But the company continues to oppose the legislation on principle and threatens to leave the state, which would also cripple two other metro area companies that serve as its suppliers.
“This kind of grandstanding demonstrates that Magpul is making political decisions, not business ones,” Chapin said. “Their manufacturing needs were protected in the original version of the bill, then further expanded in committee at the behest of Magpul’s own lobbyists.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper, despite acknowledging some hesitation about it, has promised the bill’s sponsors that he will sign it if it reaches his desk, which sets up next week’s showdown in the Senate, the last chance for opponents to kill the bill by convincing three Democratic lawmakers to vote against it.