DENVER — Magpul Industries, the Boulder manufacturer who threatened to leave the state if the legislature passed a ban on the high-capacity magazines it made, is getting ready to pull up its roots and move elsewhere, the company announced Monday.
House Bill 1224, which is expected to be signed into law Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper, bans new magazines of more than 15 rounds.
Lawmakers voted to amend the bill so that Magpul and other companies could continue the production of high-capacity magazines at their Erie plant for sale in other states.
Despite that Magpul says it is leaving on “general principal” and “legal problems and uncertainties in the bill,” the company said on its Facebook page.
“We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first,” the statement said. “We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation.”
No date has been given for the move. Magpul said they plan to “perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.”
Magpul has about 200 employees.
The company launched an all-out public relations blitz, campaigning against the bill on its Facebook page, launching an online Cold War-themed campaign and creating a site to sell a limited number of its magazines directly to Coloradans.
But it’s still unclear how much the proposed ban on magazines of 15 rounds or more would impact the company’s bottom line. It’s also unclear how much the controversy has, if at all, increased sales for the company.
“We’re ideologically opposed to the ban,” Doug Smith, Magpul’s Chief Operating Officer, told FOX31 Denver last week. “We just don’t believe in it and we have a lot of brand equity with our customers we need to protect.”
“We think this is unenforceable,” Smith told FOX31. “You’ll never know, because companies in other states won’t have to use serial numbers and date stamps, when a magazine was made and whether that was before or after this law took effect.
“We just can’t be subject to that kind of regulatory risk and to a rule-making process,” Smith said.