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Proposed gun-control laws rattles 1 business in Colorado

9:06 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - A Colorado business is threatening to move out of state if the new ammunition limits become law.

The Democratic-led House voted Monday to ban large-capacity magazines, placing a limit of 15 rounds for firearms, and eight for shotguns. Lawmakers also passed a requirement for background checks on firearm sales between private parties. Republicans oppose the measures, saying they restrict Second Amendment rights and won't prevent mass shootings.

Magpul Industries makes high-capacity magazines for military and civilian use. Under the proposed law, Magpul's facility in Erie could be making illegal products. However, the company would be allowed to still make its products - they would just sell them outside the state of Colorado.

Banning Magpul's sales in Colorado would only take away a fraction of their business, but the company says that's not the point. They say it is about keeping in the customer's good graces.

"It would damage that relationship," Duane Liptak with Magpul Industries said. "It would be seen as buckling on the values that we've hereto been a champion of and have been fighting very hard to maintain here in the state of Colorado."

The company says it will leave Colorado if the ban becomes law - taking a lot of jobs with it. The company's facility in Erie employs about 200 people directly. It also contracts a lot of work to hundreds of others in Colorado.

Three Democrats sided with Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives, but it wasn't enough to stop the bill from passing on Monday. It still needs to clear the Senate. Democrats who supported it say it protects companies like Magpul.

"No, it doesn't make them move," Rep. John Salazar said. "It gives them the option of staying. Anybody who says it's going to make them move obviously hasn't read the bill and hasn't read the language."

In fact, Democrats say they worked with Magpul to craft language that would allow the company to continue to operate.

"It is frustrating, but this is politics," Rep. Salazar said.

For those who think Magpul is just playing an elaborate game of chicken, the company says it won't flinch.

"It's not posturing it all," Liptak said. "We made our stance very clear. We basically laid it all out there on the table."

Lawmakers also passed bills to ban concealed firearms on colleges, and require gun purchasers to pay for their own background checks.

The Senate still needs to consider the proposals.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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