Indiana lawmakers courting gun-related business

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Some gun-related businesses in Colorado and Maryland have opposed new changes to gun laws in their home states, and now Indiana legislators are inviting them to relocate here.

When the Colorado legislature recently passed a bill that bans high capacity gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, Magpul Industries announced it would be leaving the state.

Magpul’s 30 round magazine accounts for more than half of its sales, and the company announced that it wouldn’t continue to operate in a state where it could no longer sell its most popular product to residents. That’s when two Indiana legislators decided to reach out.

“I think if Colorado has jobs that they don’t want that we’ll be happy to bring them here to Indiana,” said state Senator Randy Head. “I reached out to Magpul in hopes that they’d take a serious look at our state, and specifically my community, as a place to bring those jobs.”

Senator Head and Representative Bill Friend both wrote letters to the Magpul CEO, encouraging them to relocate to Logansport.

“They’re jobs and they’re jobs for Hoosiers,” Friend said. “That’s what I’m after, you know, jobs with benefits, jobs with a good pay scale, that sort of thing.”

The CEO still hasn’t announced where he’s taking Magpul’s 200 jobs, or what states he’s considering, but several states have expressed interested. There are also Facebook pages in 14 states from people hoping to attract the company.

Despite the competition, Senator Head said Indiana could set itself apart.

“We’re going to be more welcoming to people who manufacture weapons than maybe some other states are, and if that brings us more jobs and employs more people I think that’d be great.”

U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman has also written a letter to the owner of Beretta, in hopes of luring the gun company away from Maryland after talk of tougher laws.

Friend said it’s an industry Indiana is poised to capitalize on.

“Firearm sales, ammunition sales, all of those things have ramped up dramatically and so the demand is there and this would appear to be an industry that’s in growth,” Friend said.