DENVER–A Magpul official Friday urged Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto a bill to limit ammunition magazine capacity and said the company will support efforts to overturn the measure if it becomes law.
At the same time, Magpul Dynamics director Duane Liptak Jr. acknowledged in an interview on KOA-AM’s “The Mike Rosen Show” that the Erie-based company still plans to leave the state if the bill is signed, adding that officials have already begun exploring alternatives.
“We’ve already started taking a look at our options to start relocation and we will start relocation efforts as soon as this thing becomes law, basically,” said Liptak.
Rosen predicted Colorado voters would approve a ballot measure to repeal House Bill 1224, which limits magazine capacity to 15 rounds or magazines that can be readily converted to hold more than 15 rounds.
Gun-rights advocates, anticipating that the governor will sign the bill, have launched at least two petition drives to place a repeal of the measure on the November ballot.
“This is going to be a hot issue in November, and my guess is that it will probably pass. I can’t promise that,” said Rosen. “And as the governor is considering whether or not he might veto 1224, the prospect of this being on the ballot in November and passing, that might be persuader for him.”
Liptak said the company would support a repeal, but added that, “I don’t know that it would necessarily save us from leaving the state, once we’ve gotten that ball rolling.”
While state Democrats are pushing a series of gun-control measures through the state legislature, Liptak said HB 1224 is the only bill that would force Magpul to relocate.
“We would stick around and continue the legislative fight to try and over turn [House Bills] 1228, 1229, any of the other anti-gun legislation, but 1224 creates such a nightmare of legal and enforcement and regulatory problems,” said Liptak. “It’s bad for business and it violates our principles to such a degree that we could not remain.”
Magpul Dynamics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Magpul Industries, a $400 million business that manufactures firearms accessories for the military and law enforcement, as well as for private use, including magazines that exceed 15 rounds.
Magpul employs about 200 people and supports another 400 supply-chain jobs in Colorado. Other gun-related business, including Alfred Manufacturing, have indicated that they will likely follow Magpul.
Losing those jobs wouldn’t bother some gun-control advocates. During the on-air interview, liberal blogger Jason Salzman called in and accused Magpul of bearing some responsibility for the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“You make the most popular 15-round magazine I think in the country,” said Salzman. “There’s a significant likelihood your magazine was used at Sandy Hook, right? And I’m wondering how you feel about that?”
He was immediately blasted by Rosen, who called him “a flaming lefty.”
“What a moron you are, Jason, don’t ever call me again,” said Rosen. “What a terrible innuendo. He’s trying to relate you to Sandy Hook. This is the way the left operates. We’re having a rational discussion here talking about some of the specifics, the elements of the bill, and he wants to make that kind of a contention. Shame on you, Jason Salzman.”
Added Liptak: “Address the individual behavior and the criminal, not the instrument.”
Liptak said he worried about the “unintended consequences” of HB 1224, including scenarios in which law-abiding gun owners could be prosecuted because they own weapons that can be converted to hold more than 15 rounds.
“Even if you’re trying to comply, an overzealous DA could very easily have you squandering your life fortune trying to defend yourself with absolutely no intent to break the 15-round limit,” said Liptak.
He said the company already does not ship its products directly to California in order to avoid legal conflicts with that state’s laws on ammunition magazines.
Liptak also advised listeners to consult a lawyer if they want to pass along their magazines to their children. Under HB 1224, he said, the relatives of magazine owners could be forced to turn them over to the government upon the owner’s death.
“I would recommend a revocable living trust with your magazines transferred into that prior to July 1 if you’d like to be able to pass your magazines on to your progeny,” said Liptak.
Rosen cracked, “How about in your will if you specify you want to buried with your magazines? Would they exhume the body?”
Referring to state Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Lakewood), Liptak replied, “Evie would show up and take them out of your casket.”
The governor indicated in February that he will sign HB 1224, but Liptak asked Coloradans to reach out and express their support for a veto.
“We just want to get the word out for everybody in Colorado to continue to contact Gov. Hickenlooper, be civil in your commentary, but urge him to veto HB 1224 and everything else that may be in front of him to keep Colorado free and maintain the individual rights of Coloradans,” said Liptak.