Last week I reached out to Duane Liptak, Director of Product Management and Marketing at Magpul Industries Corporation. After Colorado Democrats signed new gun control rules into law Magpul promised to move operations from the anti-gun state. In our communications Liptak revealed the next steps for Magpul’s escape from Colorado.
This is breaking news—-
Magpul Industries, a Boulder high-capacity magazine manufacturer, says it will produce magazines outside Colorado within 30 days.
After weeks of bizarre testimony and protests, where lawmakers encouraged women to defend themselves with ballpoint pens and vomit, Colorado Democrats pushed through their new gun control laws last week. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three new gun bills into law on Wednesday. But, before the gun control bills were ever passed the state was looking at its first casualty. Magpul Industries, a top of the line manufacturer of gun magazines and parts, notified the media that they would relocate if the new bills were ever passed into law. They weren’t kidding.
Magpul Industries Corporation is a designer and manufacturer of polymer firearms parts and accessories. The company is based in Erie, Colorado outside of Boulder. The Magpul polymer magazine line is extremely popular among sportsmen and all branches of our armed services, including some of the highest levels of our Special Operations community. The company has received thousands of testimonials from service members about the increased reliability and durability of their products over the military issued magazines, especially in the adverse conditions and rough handling of combat operations. Company officials know of many cases where, if a service member could not get PMAGs through the supply system, they would purchase them with their own funds, rather than use the issued aluminum magazines.
In February Magpul announced the Democratic legislation that banned high capacity magazines would force them to leave the state taking along several hundred jobs with them. Magpul warned they would leave the state “almost immediately” if the legislation passed. Duane Liptak, Director of Product Management and Marketing, said the company has received official invitations from elected officials and/or the economic development activities in over two dozen states since they announced their plans to leave Colorado. Liptak says, “We’ve talked to some states, visited some, and we’ve got a lot more to get to. Some of the initial round of states that we’re looking at are Wyoming, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Montana, Idaho and Arizona but there are others in consideration.” Several more conservative states are hoping to lure the manufacturer to more friendly pastures.
Moving physical equipment and setting up products to run in new locations is an expensive venture. Lost opportunities due to disruption of production for the move could also be significant. Liptak says the company was getting ready to sign a lease on a new 125,000 square foot building for the headquarters in Colorado before Democrats introduced their legislation. So, the company held off on those plans. Magpul will now move forward with a new facility, just not in Colorado.
The move is already underway. Magpul chief operating officer Doug Smith told The Denver Post last week that the company will manufacture their first magazine outside the state of Colorado within thirty days. The company is moving some physical assets this month, but there are arrangements that need to be nailed down before Magpul can start moving major pieces of the operation.
And, it’s not just Magpul. Several parts dealers are also following Magpul’s lead. The company has received commitments from some of their largest suppliers that they will be leaving Colorado, as well. And, Magpul’s suppliers are even working with the company to help select new manufacturing locations.
Magpul has been swamped with orders since the reelection of Barack Obama and then the reaction to the Newtown massacre. The company has been producing at an extremely high volume every month and high production volumes are expected fairly far into the future. The company also says it is hard to measure how much all of the recent social media attention since they announced their move will translate into new customers. They are hoping for the best.
It’s still not clear if the new gun control laws in Colorado will save any lives. That’s still up for debate. What is clear is that the state will lose jobs because of their shotgun gun control legislation. Magpul Industries remains committed to their customers and the Second Amendment. But the company is moving forward. They’re moving out of Colorado. And they’re taking hundreds of good paying jobs with them.
** Thanks to Mike and Andrea Ryan for their help with this article.