Pharos-Tribune

April 3, 2013

Legislators make pitch to Magpul

Gun parts company seeks more gun friendly location

by Mitchell Kirk
Pharos-Tribune

— State legislators representing Logansport and the surrounding areas are requesting a Colorado gun parts manufacturer relocate to Indiana after the company said it will leave its current location because of recently passed firearm restrictions.

Two weeks ago, Colorado passed legislation banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds and requiring background checks for private and online gun sales. Boulder-based Magpul Industries Corp., which makes gun accessories and ammunition magazines, has since said it would be leaving the state.

Magpul did not return calls for comment. On March 18 however it posted on its Facebook page, “...we will have no choice but to leave if the Governor signs this into law. We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately...”

In a March 25 letter, state Sen. Randy Head invited Magpul CEO Richard Fitzpatrick to Logansport to discuss the possibility of Magpul relocating there. Head writes Indiana’s business climate and citizens’ value of Second Amendment rights would make Logansport a favorable place for Magpul’s relocation.

“I think the language of our state constitution actually goes further as far as the right to bear arms,” Head said in an interview, adding that the U.S. Constitution applies this right to “a well regulated militia,” whereas the Indiana State Constitution states people have the right to bear arms “for the defense of themselves and the State.”

Citing a survey in the May 2012 edition of “Chief Executive” magazine that states Indiana ranked first in the Midwest and fifth in the nation and stating Indiana is one of nine states with AAA credit ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s, Head writes in his letter to Fitzpatrick, “Indiana is second to none in terms of business climate.”

Head said his motivation behind reaching out to Magpul was the jobs the company would bring to the state.

“If Colorado has so many jobs they don’t want, we’ll be happy to take them,” Head said.

State Rep. Bill Friend also sent a letter to Magpul requesting its relocation to the area. Like Head, he said Indiana’s gun laws would provide a suitable place for Magpul to bring its jobs.

“It’s all about job creation,” Friend said. “We thought it was a valuable reason for going after this kind of company. Indiana has a strong history of gun ownership and we assured [Magpul] that Indiana is committed to maintaining this right.”

Colorado passed its latest firearm legislation almost a year after a shooting that killed 12 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Friend said the Indiana General Assembly is taking different measures to address gun violence, which include proposing the placement of armed guards in schools. He said the assembly is also working to rewrite the state’s criminal code to enforce stricter penalties for those found guilty of violent crimes.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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