Gun accessory company loads up for Austin move

Dec 5, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Magpul Industries Corp. is moving its headquarters to Austin in protest against stricter gun laws in Colorado, where the company was founded

The firearms' accessories manufacturing company, headed by former U.S. Marine Sgt. Richard Fitzpatrick, opened for business in 1999 in a garage

Jon Anderson, an attorney with Holland & Hart LLP in Denver who represents Magpul, said Fitzpatrick, the company's CEO, was not very much involved in politics until Colorado lawmakers enacted universal background checks and restricted ammunition magazines to 15 rounds

Anderson said Fitzpatrick believes the laws are "completely ineffective" from a safety perspective and punish legitimate gun owners far more than they deter potential criminals. As a result of the laws that largely were supported by Democrats and lamented by Republicans, Fitzpatrick began to look elsewhere to grow his company, and found what he was looking for in Wyoming and Central Texas

A 185,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Cheyenne has yet to open but will house the majority of the company employees, Anderson said

The 16,000-square-foot offices that Magpul purchased near Westlake at 8226 Bee Cave Road will provide for ample expansion of corporate and administrative functions. A dozen employees will move into that building soon, including Fitzpatrick who has already relocated to Austin, Anderson said

The company currently is in a somewhat frantic transition mode and efforts are underway to determine the scope of operations and number of employees that will be based in Austin. Although Magpul had the Austin building under contract since last spring, legal issues with the sellers delayed the closing and then required a rapid sale, Anderson said

The purchase price of the building was not disclosed. Anderson said the timing issues with the building precluded the company seeking incentives from state or local government officials, though Gov. Rick Perry played a pivotal role in luring Magpul to Texas, according to the company's website

Anderson said Magpul may yet seek employment-related incentives but nothing has been determined

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