What do you do when your business is about to be threatened due the passage of a stringent new state-wide firearm law? If you’re one company from Colorado, apparently the answer is to unload your inventory.
A new law in Colorado officially banned the sale of high-capacity automatic weapon magazines starting this Monday, outlawing stores from selling clips that can hold more than 15-rounds at a time. That was about to leave Erie, Colorado’s Magpul Industries in a peculiar situation, but they made the most of it by giving away hundreds of soon-to-be-outlawed magazines during a weekend event in the town of Glendale.
On the eve of the law’s first day on the books, Magpul airlifted thousands of high-capacity magazines to Glendale’s “A Farewell to Arms” gun show and literally handed out around 1,500 clips to attendees only hours before the ban went into effect.
"You are in the Vatican of liberty, the Luxembourg of freedom," Glendale Mayor Mike Dunfon told the crowd at a pro-gun rally that preceded the event, Matthew Patance wrote for the Denver Post.
According to the Post, show goers formed a line over half-a-mile long on Saturday with hopes of walking away with one Magpul’s free 30-count magazines. When the complimentary clips were all accounted for, the rest of Magpul’s loot that was soon to become illegal was marketed at a discounted price of only $10 each and sold to the masses.
The Post reported that Magpul donated in all roughly 20,000 magazines to the pre-show rally, which was hosted by the nonprofit group Free Colorado that advocates for Second Amendment protections. Proceeds from their sales went towards the organization’s effort to recall two democratic members of the State Senate.
“These magazines are largely used for target practice and hunting and for self-defense,” Free Colorado spokeswoman Kelly Maher told a local CBS affiliate. “For the government to step in and restrict the rights and freedoms of people it’s onerous, it’s ridiculous.”
Although the sale of high-capacity clips became illegal on Monday, the law is not retroactive and older magazines can still be used if they’ve been already been purchased. Lawmakers in Colorado hope nonetheless that the ban will lessen the odds of seeing another event like the Aurora, CO movie theatre massacre that left dozens injured last year. Accused shooter James Holmes was equipped with high-capacity magazines at the time of the tragedy.
Magpul previously threatened to pull their company out of Colorado if the law went into effect, leaving what The Blaze has reported as roughly 200 local employees out of work and as much as $85 million missing from state revenue
“I really applaud them for moving out because it's really going to affect state revenue,” Fred Bell, a 62-year-old attendee at the gun show, told the Post.
In addition to the magazine ban, Colorado law now provides that gun sellers due universal background checks. It has also struck down a loophole that has previously allowed for residents to prove they’re adequately trained to own a firearm through an online course.
"We allow people to obtain full, four-year college degrees online. Why wouldn't you be allowed to obtain the training for a concealed carry weapons permit completely online?" Republican Sen. Greg Brophy told the Associated Press in opposition to the law.