Wyoming gets gun company attention

2013-05-02T06:00:00Z 2013-06-24T15:32:05Z Wyoming gets gun company attentionBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

The phenomenon Robert Jensen is observing is unprecedented.

Magpul Industries Corp. and other firearms manufacturers and firearm accessories companies in Colorado and Connecticut are debating picking up everything and crossing state lines, possibly even moving to Wyoming, to find a friendlier political environment.

While Magpul executives continue to evaluate where they want to move, Robert Jensen, the CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, said he’s received calls from other firearms manufacturers in Colorado and Connecticut. He declined to name the companies.

“My guess is it would be over the next 12 months [that] we would hear and see more about companies relocating,” he said. “I think it’s imminent but I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next month or two.”

A corporate move requires more than just opening a new office, Jensen said. There are licenses and permits to obtain, executives and their families who need to be sold on the move, a possible new labor force to hire, and evaluation of which state has the friendliest business environment.

“Expansions happen all the time, and we’re always talking to people about expanding here,” said Jensen. “But wholesale changes in their location are very, very rare.”

But the firearm manufacturing industry is, pardon the pun, under fire.

“This is a different set of circumstances, all driven by a policy change by the political leadership of a state, primarily,” Jensen said. “So that’s unusual. Those companies are doing business in those states for lots of reasons. So without some triggering event like this legislative change, you just don’t normally get people to pick up and move.”

On Monday, Magpul said on its Facebook page that it will announce which state it is moving to when details are finalized, following up on a previous promise to move when the Colorado Legislature passed a law limiting ammunition magazines to

15 rounds.

The Facebook message said that it is manufacturing PMAG magazines outside Colorado.

According to The Associated Press, PMAGs are magazines that can hold

10 to 30 rounds.

A spokesman from the Erie, Colo.-based company did not return a message from the Star-Tribune.

Jensen said the company has not decided whether it will move to Wyoming or one of the other states that have extended welcomes.

The PMAG production may be temporary, Jensen said.

“It’s my understanding they were looking for a place to outsource their production of some of their products until they can make a decision on where they want to relocate their manufacturing,” he said. “That’s at least the state of the conversation as we’re in it with them right now.”

Legislatures in Colorado and Connecticut have stiffened gun regulation after shootings that left numerous people dead, including in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and a Newtown, Conn., school.

State Rep. Bunky Loucks, R-Casper, has been the Wyoming Legislature’s representative to Magpul. He said that his contact at the company was Todd Neiberger, the chief financial officer.

Loucks last reached out to Neiberger on April 16, but the CFO hasn’t replied in more than a month, he said.

Loucks was hoping the company would relocate to Casper – he even found Casper residents who said they’d be willing to talk to Magpul about a building and financing. But the company indicated it was more interested in Cheyenne, he said.

“When I talked to Todd, they honestly were really interested in Cheyenne because several of the people, including himself, live in Fort Collins,” he said. “We have state employees who live in Fort Collins. It’s a beautiful community and they drive 40 miles or whatever it is.”

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at laura.hancock@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(18) Comments

  1. nikalseyn
    Report Abuse
    nikalseyn - May 28, 2013 6:29 am
    " I think it’s eminent but I don’t’ think it’s going to happen in the next month or two.”

    Eminent???? Doesn't anyone proof-read stories anymore. The word is "imminent."
  2. EasyTurbo
    Report Abuse
    EasyTurbo - May 03, 2013 12:05 pm
    The legislation of which you speak does not raise taxes on anyone, but requires online vendors (with sales in excess of $1 milllion) to collect and remit sales taxes on online sales, which Wyoming consumers are already technically obligated to pay. It's not imposing a new tax on anyone, nor is it raising any existing tax rates.
  3. Pops
    Report Abuse
    Pops - May 02, 2013 4:16 pm
    Oh boy! Welcome shootists!
  4. mcfromkc
    Report Abuse
    mcfromkc - May 02, 2013 3:31 pm
    wyojeff, I'm glad you finally admit that Republicans are conservatives are hypocritical too. Remember that Cheney told us "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter"Guess he's a RINO huh? Remember that republicans ran up record deficits for 6 years then got religion on spending when Obama was elected?
    see wyojeff, those cliches always cut both ways. maybe you should try writing a post without them sometime
  5. WyoJeff
    Report Abuse
    WyoJeff - May 02, 2013 1:43 pm
    The Republicans have RINOs. But I'm glad you finally admit what liberals want for all of us. Remember the Liberals tell us it is not a spending problem it is an income problem.
  6. mcfromkc
    Report Abuse
    mcfromkc - May 02, 2013 1:18 pm
    wyojeff, evidently you have forgotten that our very own Mike Enzi, who you probably voted for, sponsored a bill to raise taxes on every American who buys goods online. But I guess that doesn't fit your simple-minded narrative that "only liberals want to keep increasing taxes to pay for the spending"
  7. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - May 02, 2013 12:02 pm
    How many employees do they need?? 10,000, 1,000, 100 or 10??
  8. WyoJeff
    Report Abuse
    WyoJeff - May 02, 2013 8:30 am
    It seems only liberals want to keep increasing taxes to pay for the spending. But no, both parties seem all to happy to spend it like it's free.
  9. sourshoes
    Report Abuse
    sourshoes - May 02, 2013 8:13 am
    only liberals spend the tax dollars .............
  10. thehousemouse
    Report Abuse
    thehousemouse - May 02, 2013 8:08 am
    I think cheyenne is most likely the best spot for them for several reasons. One of which is the availability of highways to move their products. Casper well it would cost much more in transportation costs, and they are right. Some employees wil be have to be from colorado, this is normal for some long time employees to cross lines to teach then new ones what they are doing. " i Do'nt think we should start putting restrictions on these guys or they will simply disapear to another state that is not such a stickler for small details.
  11. WyoJeff
    Report Abuse
    WyoJeff - May 02, 2013 7:25 am
    Your right MC those are the things that sound like a liberal. Don't forget they also want to tell us what we can and can not eat all while demanding higher taxes so they can spend even more.
  12. supercalifragilistic
    Report Abuse
    supercalifragilistic - May 02, 2013 7:23 am
    FairIssac, if I may?
    That's might probably be the best move for them regarding another business friendly state as their workforce is much larger. As I do know that Colorado and California are no longer open for business. New York is now advertising businesses to relocate there as well, since many have left.
    What does that tell you about "failed liberal policies"? As they are offering to reduce taxes on new businesses relocating as well. Must be liberals realizing that Obamanomics really does not work and feel the lowering coffers. Where this administration continues to remain out of touch, except for the socialists dependent on Obama, welfare.

    But either way, Wyoming and/or Texas would be a good choice for this future exiting firearms company from liberal Colorado tyranny on business.
  13. supercalifragilistic
    Report Abuse
    supercalifragilistic - May 02, 2013 7:12 am
    Sassy, I was talking with a legislator a while back and he said, "there was law passed years back, on Wyoming employees residing in Wyoming". Perhaps they can update the law saying "if you're in Colorado, look for a job in Colorado".
  14. mcfromkc
    Report Abuse
    mcfromkc - May 02, 2013 7:00 am
    super, to begin with these are not state of Wyoming employees, they work for a private company.
    second, you want the legislature to tell people where they have to live? guess you're a big government liberal. I mean if you tell people where they can and can't live, next thing you'll be telling them what kind of weapons they can and can't carry. ;-o
  15. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - May 02, 2013 6:35 am
    They do what they want...live where they want....
  16. FairIssac
    Report Abuse
    FairIssac - May 02, 2013 6:29 am
    They are moving to Texas where there is infrastructure and an employment base.
  17. supercalifragilistic
    Report Abuse
    supercalifragilistic - May 02, 2013 6:27 am
    Wyoming State employees should be living in Wyoming, working for the tax base. Not paying taxes base salaries to you so you can pay taxes in Colorado and Forth Collins.
    I thought Wyoming made it mandatory for all employees to reside in Wyoming. Perhaps the legislature needs to address that?
  18. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - May 02, 2013 6:20 am
    The legislature will put a stop to this.
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