As reported by the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle's Becky Orr Friday, and apropos today with a bill to repeal Colorado's magazine limit law up for
certain death debate in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee:
The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board approved a $13 million grant Thursday to help a company that makes magazines and other gun accessories move to Cheyenne.
The board voted 4-1 in favor of the grant to help recruit Magpul Industries, a company based in Erie, Colo. SLIB is made up of the top five elected officials in Wyoming…
The company is expected to be in temporary quarters in Cheyenne as early as this summer. The business will remain there while a new building is built.
The state and local investment in the relocation effort will reach about $17 million over 20 years. The return to the public is estimated at about $20 million.
Last Thursday, the Colorado Independent's Shelby Kinney-Lang published an in-depth look at Erie-based ammunition magazine maker Magpul's impending move to Cheyenne, and the millions in taxpayer-funded financial incentives they'll receive to do so–and as we've discussed in detail, how that move appears to have been in the offing long before Colorado passed any law limiting gun magazine capacity.
Magpul announced last month that it would be moving its manufacturing to Wyoming and headquarters to Texas, and it is now clear that financial considerations unsurprisingly dominated negotiations around the move.
Yet the expansion plan itself and the company’s financial bargaining never made news in all of the reporting around Magpul last spring during the gun-law debates at the capitol. The main narrative spinning around Magpul at the time was that the company would move as a political statement. As the conservative Colorado Observer put it, Magpul executives “announced they would leave in reaction to the Democratic state legislature’s passage of gun-control bills.”
But Wyoming and Texas offered financial incentives to Magpul in 2012, when the company began exploring how best to realize its expansion plans and long before the gun measures had even been introduced…
Magpul’s January press release announcing its plan to move to Wyoming and Texas seemed to suggest that 92 percent of its Colorado workforce would join the company outside the state. But Magpul’s Duane Liptak told the Denver Post that wasn’t the case, that most of the company’s employees would be left behind in Erie. Liptak did not respond to the Independent’s requests for clarification, though a story about Magpul in the [Casper] Star-Tribune states that “some” unknown number of employees will move with the company and that 184 positions will be available in Wyoming. A more recent AP story says Magpul will bring “90 new jobs” to Cheyenne.
We do expect that executives from Magpul will testify at today's hearing, and that the example of their leaving Colorado–expressed in plaintive terms as "jobs lost"–will be frequently invoked as a reason a central magazine limit law should be repealed. But as we've tried diligently to ensure our readers understand, there's much more to this story–from Colorado employees who may or may not move/commute to Cheyenne, to the millions of dollars Magpul was shopping other states for before Colorado's magazine limit law was ever introduced.
Debate the efficacy of the law all you want, but don't misrepresent what happened here.