After the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the state’s Governor John Hickenlooper questioned whether more gun laws would really have stopped the shooter, James Holmes.
“This person, if there were no assault weapons available, if there were no this or no that, this guy’s going to find something, right?” he asked. “If it was not one weapon, it would have been another.”
But in an interview with the Associated Press in December, his tone changed. He said he needed a few months after the shooting to “let people process and grieve and get a little space” but that the “time is right” to discuss gun control.
“When you look at what happened in Aurora, a great deal of that damage was from the large magazine on the AR-15,” he said in the interview, questioning where this is appropriate.
Now, after months of heated debate, the governor plans to sign new gun legislation on Wednesday that bans ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, requires that background checks be expanded to include sales and transfers between private parties and online purchases, and forces gun purchasers to pay for their own background checks, according to Fox News.
"I think it will make it more difficult for people to get guns who shouldn't have them, and that's really the goal," said Democratic Rep. Beth McCann on the expanded background checks.
Magazine limits would reduce gun violence and have an impact during mass shootings, because they would force gunmen to reload more times, she said. "It's an interruption in the spraying of bullets."
As a result, Colorado-based Magpul Industries is moving its operations elsewhere, taking hundreds of jobs from the state. Magpul released the following statement:
Apparently Gov Hickenlooper has announced that he will sign HB 1224 on Wednesday. We were asked for our reaction, and here is what we said:
We have said all along that based on the legal problems and uncertainties in the bill, as well as general principle, 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, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first. We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.
It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and Governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives, and the 2014 election to undo these wrongs against responsible Citizens.