The Farewell To Arms Festival

The group Free Colorado is holding an event on Saturday in Glendale, Colorado called The Farewell to Arms Festival. Free Colorado’s mission is to engage in targeted actions to reverse Colorado laws that imperil the rights of law-abiding firearm owners;
and ensure that no other State passes such reckless government regulation.

The event is meant to highlight the July 1st start of Colorado’s ban on standard capacity magazines. The first 1,500 attendees will receive “a free Magpul Gen M2 MOE 30rd magazine featuring either the Free Colorado or Boulder Airlift design, courtesy of Magpul Industries.”

There will be live music and an appearance by conservative talk show host Dana Loesch.

If you are in the Denver area and support gun rights, you ought to take advantage of this. More details are in the flyer below.

HiViz Sights Chooses Wyoming

At the beginning of April, HiViz Shooting Systems of Fort Collins, Colorado announced that they would be leaving Colorado due to the passage of the new gun control laws. They have now settled on where they will be relocating. It is to Laramie, Wyoming which is about a hour’s drive from their old location. As their release below notes, this will allow their current employees to commute to the new plant while they decide on whether to relocate or not.

From their release:

Fort Collins, CO- HiViz Shooting Systems President and CEO Phillip Howe is pleased to announce that Laramie, Wyoming has been selected as the new home for HiViz Shooting Systems.Mr. Howe said the move will be structured over a period of time to ensure uninterrupted service to the HiViz customer base. Building plans are being developed with the city of Laramie and state of Wyoming and construction could begin as soon as the summer of 2013.

“Wyoming has long been an ideal location for the outdoor products industries, including the shooting sports manufacturing arm of the industry,” said Bob Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. “We welcome Mr. Howe and the HiViz family to our state and we look forward to having HiViz products being produced in Wyoming.”

According to Howe, HiViz selected Laramie not only because of its strong support of the shooting sports manufacturing and supply chain industries, but also because of its close proximity to the present HiViz facility in Fort Collins, Colo., providing current employees the opportunity of a short commute while evaluating relocation.

The company also considered Wyoming’s tax advantages for the business and its employees, the various resources available through the University of Wyoming and a favorable location with a beautiful view of the Snowy Range mountains to the west.

“We are very excited about this announcement and what it means not only for Laramie and Wyoming, but for HiViz as well,” said Laramie Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) chair Megan Overmann Goetz. “LEDC and our partners at the Business Council have been working with Phil and his team on the best solution. We are happy that solution is having HiViz in Laramie conducting business in one of our LEDC business parks.”

“The decision to relocate the company was difficult and choosing the proper location was essential to our continued growth within the industry,” said Howe. “The fine people with the Wyoming Business Council and the LEDC worked diligently to accommodate our needs and make us feel welcome. We look forward to settling into our new home in the firearm friendly state of Wyoming.”

The relocation is rooted in Colorado’s recent tightening of its gun control laws, and the company announced April 1, 2013 that it would pursue a new location more supportive of its products and customers.

HiViz Shooting Systems manufactures light-gathering sights, recoil pads and accessories for the shooting industry. For more information, contact Jeff Maust, Marketing Director at (970) 484-8242

 In contrast with Colorado where Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) had no trouble screwing both gun owners and those in the gun industry, the governor of Wyoming welcomed HiViz with open arms.

“We are happy to welcome HiViz to Wyoming. Our culture and people make Wyoming a great fit for the company. I thank Phil Howe and all of the employees of HiViz for choosing Wyoming as their next home,” Governor Mead said. “I believe this state has so much to offer all citizens and businesses, but moving is never easy. I want to assure HiViz and its customers that we will work diligently to make sure this transition is a smooth one.”

“I believe the great companies of Wyoming can attest to Wyoming’s climate for growth that should benefit HiViz,” Governor Mead said. “We have the most business friendly tax structure in the country and we combine that with an unparalleled quality of life.”

Now the question becomes where will Magpul end up. It could very well be Wyoming as well. That was what was suggested to me by Chris Wiggins of Pueblo, Colorado based Shooter Ready Radio whom I met at the NRA Meeting. He noted that at least one of their suppliers has moved to Wyoming. Of course, until Magpul reveals their decision, this is only informed speculation.

A Communique From Behind Enemy Lines

Magpul Industries released a statement today on Facebook after Gov. John Hickenlooper had signed HB 1224 into law along with two other gun control measures. I must say I am a little shocked at the number of magazines that they have already shipped under the Boulder Airlift as well as the number they plan to ship before the July 1st implementation date of the new law.

All I can say to the anti-gunners – good luck trying to enforce that loser of a law. Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County was correct – it is unenforceable.

With the signing of the HB 1224, we want to reassure Colorado residents, now officially in occupied territory, that the “Boulder Airlift” will continue until we can no longer legally ship to CO residents at the approach of the July 1 deadline, so long as demand continues.

We are looking at additional ways to give Coloradans the opportunity to buy the magazines they need prior to the enactment date, as although we’ve been swamped with tens of thousands of orders, our shipping department limitations have only allowed us to get a few hundred thousand magazines out to CO residents…a small portion of our monthly production. We’ll continue to support the Airlift as long as demand exists, and up to the active date of the legislation, and we’ve allocated a little over a million magazines for the effort up to that point, give or take.

Customers in the rest of the country should rest assured that the airlift only takes a small portion of our production, and magazines and other products are continuing to ship to the rest of the nation. Our transition to a new home will occur in a phased and orderly a manner to allow us to continue to serve our customers during the move, as well as to allow an orderly transition for affected employees. We are actively working on those plans.

Hickenlooper Signs Colorado Mag Ban

Today, in a move that guarantees that Colorado will lose at least 200 jobs, Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) signed three gun control bills. Among these bills was HB 1224 which bans magazines with a capacity greater than 15 rounds or that could be readily converted to hold more than 15 rounds.

Lawmakers and guests applauded as Hickenlooper signed the bills. The governor looked solemn.

The bills thrust Colorado into the national spotlight as a potential test of how far the country might be willing to go on new restrictions after the horror of mass shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school and Aurora movie theater.

“I am happy the governor is signing common-sense legislation that reduces gun violence in our communities by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic violence offenders and the seriously mentally ill,” said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, who represents the district where an assailant opened fire July 20 during a midnight showing of “Dark Knight Rises.”

Whether it was meant to be symbolic or not, the signing comes eight months to the day after the shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, CO.

UPDATE: Michael Bane issued a warning to gun owners who either live in Denver and its adjacent towns or in Boulder. On today’s Downrange Radio podcast, Michael, citing private conversations with his friends in law enforcement, warned that police in Denver and Boulder will be enforcing the Colorado Magazine Ban to the letter of the law. Listen to his podcast for more info. Frankly, it would make me very hesitant to visit the Denver/Boulder area.

Gun Prohibitionists Crowing

Now that Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) has signed Colorado HB 1224 which now bans magazines with a capacity – or the ability to be readily converted – of over 15 rounds, the gun prohibitionists at Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors are crowing. I guess they feel they got their money’s worth.

Would that these gun prohibitionists cared so much about the lives and jobs of the employees of Magpul and their suppliers that will be leaving Colorado.

Magpul Statement On Announcement Hickenlooper To Sign HB 1224

A spokesman for Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) announced that the governor will sign Colorado’s magazine ban – HB 1224 – on Wednesday. In response, Magpul Industries released this statement and reiterated their plans to leave the state if the bill was signed.

Apparently Gov Hickenlooper has announced that he will sign HB 1224 on Wednesday. We were asked for our reaction, and here is what we said:

We have said all along that based on the legal problems and uncertainties in the bill, as well as general principle, we will have no choice but to leave if the Governor signs this into law. We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first. We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. 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. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.

It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and Governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives, and the 2014 election to undo these wrongs against responsible Citizens.

Magpul had their outside legal counsel analyze the bill. They have sent this analysis to Gov. Hickenlooper along with a request that he veto the bill. Unfortunately, it is apparent that Gov. Hickenlooper is more interested in pleasing V-P Joe Biden and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg than in keeping jobs in Colorado.

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More Revenue Than Ford Motor Company

The One Minute MBA studied the business of guns and found that the firearms industry generated $10 billion more revenue that Ford Motor Company. It also employs five times as many people as Google. As Exurban Kev noted at Misfires and Light Strikes, this shows “why Magpul’s potential move out of Colorado matters.”

Unless two Democrat state senators change their vote Monday on the final vote on HB 1224, I’m afraid the good people of Colorado are going to find out this out first-hand. Even if the Colorado Republican sweep the Democrats out of office in 2014, Magpul and their jobs will still be gone. Once they move I sincerely doubt that they would ever relocate back to Colorado.

Cartoon Puts It In Perspective

A cartoon that ran yesterday in the Denver Post’s The Spot blog really puts things in perspective about the political culture in Colorado.

Colorado voters approved private use of marijuana in the past election. This measure was opposed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. Now it appears Hickenlooper will support and sign HB 1224 which would result in magazine maker Mapgul to move out of state. Frankly, I think Hickenlooper has his priorities backwards.

Boulder Airlift

Magpul has started what they are calling the Boulder Airlift. They are moving Colorado residents to the head of the line for 10-packs of PMags. This move to flood Colorado with standard capacity magazines was started by Suarez International’s One Source Tactical a few days earlier. Michael Bane has more info on that plus Magpul’s statement. He called it a classy thing to do.

If you do something classy like that you should have a classy drawing to go along with it – and they do. Using a scene reminiscent of the Berlin Airlift, Magpul is reminding Coloradans to take advantage of this offer. They also are working on similar programs for citizens in other states who are having their freedom challenged.

Reading Between The Lines

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) represents the district in which magazine manufacturer Magpul is located. He plans to tour the Magpul plant in Erie, Colorado today and had invited Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to join him. Hickenlooper won’t be able to attend because he is headed to the East Coast for meetings in New York, Philly, and DC as well as attending the National Governors Association meeting.

In making the invitation Gardner said:

Gardner, R-Yuma, said the governor could benefit from the tour because, “as elected officials, I think it is important that we educate ourselves on how legislation can affect our constituents.”

As so often happens, the Congressman’s office didn’t coordinate with the Governor’s office before announcing the invitation.  I’ve read two reports on this invitation in the Denver press. In one report (the Denver Post), the story stops there. Moreover, the headlines in both stories are about the invitation and the governor’s inability to make the tour with Gardner.

However, in the other report on this tour put out by KDVR Fox 31 Denver, there was this little tidbit about HB 1224, the Colorado magazine ban bill, and the governor’s position on it.

Hickenlooper told reporters last week that he supports the high-capacity magazine ban; but, during a panel discussion about gun restrictions Tuesday night, the governor appeared to waffle on the matter.

“We haven’t taken a position on that bill yet,” Hickenlooper said. “But I from time to time have said contradictory things on it.

“It’s a tough issue: I mean, how many lives do you save, and how real is the inconvenience to the people who want to have a larger capacity magazine and feel it’s essential for defending their house?”

Hickenlooper’s former legislative lobbyist, R.D. Sewald, who left the administration last year to start his own private lobbying firm, now represents Magpul.

In terms of whether or not a magazine ban is enacted in Colorado or not, forget the news about the tour. That is just publicity seeking by a politician. The important stuff is the relationship between Gov. Hickenlooper and Sewald, the fact that Sewald now represents Magpul, and whether or not Sewald can convince either Hickenlooper or enough Democrat State Senators to can HB 1224. That’s the real story.