Hickenlooper Hesitates on Mag Cap Ban; Beretta Bailing on Maryland?


Colorado Public Radio (cprcheckandbalance.tumblr.com) reports that Governor John Hickenlooper’s starting to waffle on whether or not he’s going to sign the Rocky Mountain State’s recently enacted (by the House) mag cap ban. “We haven’t taken a specific position on that bill yet, but I from time to time have said contradictory things on it.” And continue to do so, apparently. Hickenlooper’s waffling might have something to do with Magpul’s declared intention to bail on Boulder should the Gov. sign the bill (or not sign the bill and let it become law). Not that he’s saying so. “Hickenlooper blamed a lack of hard data for making it difficult to decide on some gun policies, including the appropriate size of ammunition magazines . . .

“It’s a tough issue: I mean, how many lives do you save, and how real is the inconvenience to the people who want to have a larger capacity magazine and feel it’s essential for defending their house?”

Inconvenience? The inconvenient truth is that Hickenlooper’s waking up to the fact that the voters will hand Colorado Democrats their ass at the next election if he pisses on their firearms freedom, driving away one of the state’s more successful small businesses.

Meanwhile, Maryland . . .

Beretta is weighing whether the rifle line, and perhaps the company itself, should stay in a place increasingly hostile toward its products. Its iconic 9mm pistol — carried by every U.S. soldier and scores of police departments — would also be banned with its high capacity, 13-bullet magazine.

“Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” said Jeffrey Reh, general counsel for Beretta.

Concern that the company will leave, and take its 300 jobs with it, is palpable among state lawmakers who worry it could be collateral damage from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed gun-control bill.

High capacity? the washington.post.com post indicates that the Italian gunmaker doesn’t have the capacity to put up with in-state gun grabbers. As for their threat to leave, Beretta ain’t whistling Dixie—even as they’re contemplating moving in that direction (OK West too but give me some artistic licence).

In testimony this month in Annapolis, Reh, who oversees the plant, warned lawmakers to consider carefully the company’s future. Reh pointed to the last time Maryland ratcheted up gun restrictions in the 1990s: Beretta responded by moving its warehouse operation to Virginia.

“I think they thought we were bluffing” in the 1990s, Reh said. “But Berettas don’t bluff.”

Magpul and Beretta may well prove the truth of the adage attributed to Calvin Coolidge: “the business of America is business.” While civilian disarmament proponents see the firearms industry’s financial muscle and subsequent lobbying power as a bad thing, I don’t. No sir I do not.

[h/t Chuck in IL, imrambi]