When Magpul Industries pulled their operations out of Colorado in protest of the laws that limited the capacity of magazines to 15 rounds in 2013 the State lost 200 jobs and a 100,000 square foot operation that paid taxes and supported secondary industries in the State. Magpul has since grown to 380 employees in a new 185,000 square foot facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Recent announcements also have Magpul becoming the supplier of magazines to the US Marine Corps, a further loss to Colorado and a further boon to Wyoming.
When the bill to limit the capacity of magazines was passed in Colorado the political fallout came swiftly, with gun rights supporters rallying to recall two legislators and another resigned. State Sheriffs sued in an attempt to block the law, which was to no avail, although it did show the Sheriffs to be in support of the Constitution and the rights of the citizens.
The move to Cheyenne was fueled both by principle, as Magpul wouldn't support a State that didn't support it's main source of income, but also with cash. The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board granted up to $8.3 million dollars to support Magpul moving the production, distribution, and shipping operations to the State. Of which the Wyoming Business Council said that Magpul will pay back $3.7 million, with another gain of $14.3 million in taxes, income, and off leases and other secondary benefits of a growing workforce. The contract with the US Marine Corps is yet to be estimated, but will surely add to the revenue that will be generated for the State by Magpul.
That jobs and industry are on the line is a cold hard fact in the gun debate, one that seems to be overlooked by legislators that pass anti firearm bills out of emotion rather than evidence. The case of Magpul alone outlines that a business will move out of State or Country when threatened by legislation that goes against the core values of the business. Business leaving an area can cost the State, Province, or Country that it has left in not only lost jobs and taxes, but also in secondary revenue generated by the business.
Secondary revenue is a fact of business, in that not only would a firearm business need logistical materials to operate which would be purchased locally and support other non-firearm related businesses, but also in that people employed in the firearm business would spend their income locally and support a multitude of non-firearm related businesses. Raw materials is another commodity that a firearm business would require in order to produce their goods, which is another way the community benefits financially by the business being located in the area.
The financial loss of anti firearm legislation can be immeasurable once all of the avenues of revenue generation are tallied. What should also be factored into the equation is the loss of skilled workers, as most of the firearm manufacturing industry requires the workers to be specialized in their trade. These workers tend to move where their industry needs them once anti firearm legislation is passed, both out of financial incentive and also out of moral principle because if a Country isn't willing to support their way of life then they will relocate to a Country that will. With a gap of skilled workers in the labor force this is a loss to the economy that can't be afforded, and can take decades to get back.
The cost of anti firearm legislation is detrimental to a community, Province or State, and the Country overall in financial terms and in terms of lost workforce. When people debate the cost of a failed piece of firearm legislation, this cost is always hidden and never tallied into the debate because it's nearly immeasurable. When once thriving sectors of industry are brought to ruin by the stroke of a pen in the name of 'feel good' laws that are shown to not have an effect on the statistic they target, the loss to the economy and workforce lies at the feet of the legislators that pass the law in order to further their own careers. It's time to make sure that any legislator that passes anti firearms laws in order to further their career only succeeds in shortening it, otherwise the cost of keeping them around is too high.