DENVER–Another firearms company is planning to leave Colorado in reaction to Democratic gun-control bills signed last month by the governor.
Philip Howe, president and CEO of HiViz Shooting Systems, a Fort Collins manufacturer that makes firearms accessories, said in a statement released Monday he made the decision to relocate with “mixed emotions.”
“Colorado is a beautiful state with great people, but we cannot in clear conscience support with our taxes a state that has proven through recent legislation a willingness to infringe upon the constitutional rights of our customer base,” said Howe.
Howe added that he is currently discussing the move with officials in a neighboring state, although he did not name the state.
HiViz follows Magpul Industries, an Erie-based company that announced it would relocate shortly after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three gun-control bills into law March 20.
In a March 23 video message, the Democratic governor described the bill-signing as “a victory for Colorado” in the aftermath of two mass shootings in 2012, including the July 20 Aurora theater massacre.
Hickenlooper also insisted that the bills’ passage “does absolutely nothing to restrict the Second Amendment rights of any law-abiding Coloradans to own a gun for hunting or self-defense or for fun.”
The newly signed laws, which take effect July 1, ban ammunition magazines that hold or can be readily converted to hold more than 15 rounds; mandate background checks for all gun sales and transfers, and require gun buyers to pay for their own background checks.
In the statement, Howe said that he tried via phone calls and emails to convince state legislators to “proceed slowly with gun control legislation that would impact individual shooters and the shooting industry as a whole.”
He said the relocation would proceed gradually in order to avoid interrupting of services to customers. Most of the company’s staff is expected to move with the company, although Howe did not say how many workers are employed by HiViz.
“It is in the best interest of our company and our customers,” said Howe, even as he acknowledged the move would be “expensive and time consuming.”
Founded in 1996, HiViz, a division of North Pass Ltd., manufactures LitePipe light-gathering sights, recoil pads and accessories for the shooting industry.
Reaction on the company’s Facebook page was uniformly positive, with dozens of comments from supporters urging the firm to consider relocating to their states.
“Good–Colorado politicians need to feel the pain of their stupidity. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will ever get it, or they just don’t care,” said one post.