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Fallout from Colorado Gun Control Laws Deepens

Friday, January 10, 2014

Colorado-based Magpul Industries, a manufacturer of popular AR-15 ammunition magazines and accessories, announced last week that it will move its corporate headquarters to Texas and its manufacturing operations to Wyoming. The company's decision, which will affect over 200 employees and 400 supply-chain workers in Colorado, is expected to cost the state over $80 million annually.

Magpul's relocation is the latest consequence to gun control laws signed into effect last year by Colorado's governor, John Hickenlooper (D). In September, two Colorado legislators who voted for the laws--a ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, a "universal checks" requirement, and increased fees for gun owners--were recalled and voted out of office.  A third legislator who had voted for the laws soon resigned, rather than face a recall.

Michael Bloomberg and other gun control supporters spent $3 million trying to keep the two recalled anti-gunners--(now former) Sen. Angela Giron and Senate president John Morse--in power. And Giron had said that if she or Morse were voted from office, Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, "might as well fold it up."

However, Giron, Morse and other gun control supporters have since struck a more defiant tone. Giron said "I have not one iota of regret for what I voted on. . . . We will win in the end, because we are on the right side." Morse scoffed at his removal from office as something "purely symbolic." And, the Los Angeles Times has reported, gun control supporters now "plan to look for key races in which they can make an impact," to "show lawmakers that the movement behind stronger gun restrictions will have staying power in elections to come."

President Obama has said that Colorado's new gun control laws are "a model for what's possible," and the Brady Campaign has gloated that those laws are "still on the books." However, how long the laws will stay in effect remains to be seen. Colorado lawmakers are drafting legislation that would repeal the laws, and a sizable majority of sheriffs in the state stepped forward to challenge the laws in court on Second Amendment and other grounds.  While a recent ruling narrowed the number of sheriffs eligible to bring the case before the court, that litigation continues.

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