DENVER — A ban on high capacity magazines proposed by legislative Democrats threatens not only second amendment rights, but hundreds of Colorado jobs, the COO of firearm accessories manufacturer Magpul testified on Tuesday.
Doug Smith, chief operating officer of Erie, CO-based Magpul, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, said the measure limiting magazines — originally proposed at 10 rounds but amended to be 15 rounds — would force the magazine manufacturer to leave the state.
Along with the company would go the 200 direct employees Magpul has, and nearly 700 jobs at suppliers and subcontractors.
“Passage would devastate the company,” he said.
The bill, HB1224, would make it illegal to own or sell magazines over 15 rounds in Colorado, though possession of magazines manufactured prior to the law’s passage would remain legal.
Though the law would still, strangely, allow manufacturing of high capacity magazines, companies could not sell what they manufacture here.
Fears of the law passing have seen a run on high capacity magazines across the state, with gun owners reporting a near tripling of price on both plastic and metal high capacity magazines in the last two months.
As an industry leader, and large employer in Colorado, Magpul’s resistance is notable.
The company made a public call to arms on their Facebook page earlier this week, with a public letter to the Colorado Legislature.
“The measures and stipulations in this bill would deprive CO residents of the value of their private property by prohibiting the sale or transfer of all magazines over 10 rounds,” the letter said, referencing the earlier version of the bill that would have limited capacity to 10 rounds.
“This bill would also prohibit manufacture of magazines greater than 10 rounds for commercial sale out of the state, and place restrictions on the manufacture of military and law enforcement magazines that would cripple production.”
The company says it wants to stay in Colorado, but that the passage of HB1224 would force them to leave.
“We like Colorao, we want to continue to operate in Colorado, but most of all, we want Colorado to remain FREE,” Magpul’s open letter insists.
Despite the testimony of Magpul’s COO about the threat of job loss should the bill pass, HB1224 made it out of the Judiciary Committee on a 7-4 party line vote, with all Democrats supporting it.
It is not known whether the bill will ultimately become law, as it hasn’t passed the vote of the full House or Senate chambers and Governor Hickenlooper has not stated a position yet.