After nearly a year of speculation, firearms accessory manufacturer Magpul Dynamics announced January 2 it was relocating out of its home state of Colorado and setting up shop in Texas and Wyoming.
The move comes after Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democrats in the state house enacted new restrictions on firearms and ammunition magazine capacities on the heels of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that killed 27 in December 2012.
Magpul is best known for its P-Mag magazines designed for AR15-style rifles. The lightweight but tough polymer magazines are popular with U.S. military troops, law enforcement officers and civilian shooters who rave about the P-Mag's durability and reliable feeding. Magpul is also well known for its AR15 accessories, including buttstocks, forward grips and sights.
"Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important," said Magpul CEO Richard Fitzpatrick in a statement announcing the move. "This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion."
The company says it will move its corporate headquarters from Erie, Colo., to Texas, though it is unclear precisely where. Manufacturing and distribution will relocate to Cheyenne, Wyo., though the company says it will leave a small staff in Colorado to help roll back the new gun restrictions there, which includes a limit on magazine capacities for AR-style rifles to 15 rounds.
"Magpul made the decision to relocate in March 2013 and has proceeded on an aggressive but deliberate path" says Doug Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Magpul Industries. "These dual moves will be carried out in a manner that ensures our operations and supply chain will not be interrupted and our loyal customers will not be affected."
While it's unclear what impact this move will have on Colorado's economy, some reports indicate that Magpul contributes about $85 million in economic activity to the state and employs about 400 across its business. Legislators were so worried about Magpul's exit that lawmakers tried to write in exceptions to the new gun laws to keep the company in state.
But Magpul refused.
"Wyoming and Magpul are a great match," Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said in a statement. "We offer Magpul an attractive tax environment, stable and reasonable regulations, not to mention a firm commitment to uphold the Second Amendment."