Colorado’s new gun violence prevention law includes a ban on ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds and universal background checks. Before Colorado even passed the safety measures, Magpul Industries, a manufacturer of high-capacity magazines, threatened to relocate to another state rather than face new limits.
Since Magpul’s announcement, Republican lawmakers in states with high rates of gun deaths have eagerly courted the Colorado-based company:
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ): “Businesses and manufacturers do not need a government that attacks them, over regulates them, or tries to tax them out of existence. Arizona gets it. Arizona is perfect for Magpul.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.): “In South Carolina, we believe in the Second Amendment. We believe in free enterprise. We believe in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our state welcomes any individual or business who believes the same.”
Oklahoma House: We believe we are better suitors for this company in Oklahoma, so we are courting these companies to relocate to Oklahoma and create hundreds if not thousands of jobs,” State Rep. John Bennett (R) said.
Mississippi House: “I am personally inviting you and your company to come to the great state of Mississippi,” House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) said. “In our state, you will not be criticized for providing good to the law abiding citizens who enjoy hunting, shooting or who just want the peace of mind that comes with the constitutional right to protect their families.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R): “There is no other state that fits the definition of business-friendly like Texas.”
The company has pulled other stunts, too. It placed ads advocating against Colorado reforms, and it also held an online sale to help people “stock up” on magazines over 15 rounds.
If anything, however, the efforts to lure Magpul into states with weak guns laws demonstrates why strong federal gun laws are needed. Gun violence laws vary widely across states. Without federal standards creating some minimum baseline, states can enact weaker and weaker gun laws to attract gun companies, creating a race to the bottom on laws meant to protect public safety.