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US gun magazine producer to leave Colo. over gun laws

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July 24, 2012: A Palmetto M4 assault rifle is seen at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado.Reuters

One of the largest producers of gun magazines in the U.S. is leaving Colorado because of its new gun laws and moving its operations to Texas and Wyoming.

Magpul Industries, based in Erie, Colorado, announced Thursday that it was moving its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas, making good on a vow it made to leave Colorado during last year's heated gun control debate.

In 2013, the company took out a newspaper ad stating it would leave should the state pass a ban on high-capacity magazines and add-ons for semi-automatic rifles.

The Democratic-led Colorado legislature and Gov. John Hickenlooper last year enacted a new law prohibiting the sale of gun magazines with more than 15 rounds. That and other new gun restrictions also led to the recall ouster of two Democratic state senators.

The company says its corporate headquarters will likely be in north-central Texas but an exact location hasn't been determined yet.

Colorado is not the only state to have gun manufacturers threaten to leave over gun legislation. In 2013, Beretta USA threatened to move its Maryland manufacturing plant – along with roughly 400 jobs – after Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley began a push for one of the most ambitious gun-control agendas in the country.

Executives claimed they had grown weary of the state’s attitude on guns and reportedly backed up their threat by pointing out the company moved a warehouse to neighboring Virginia in 1990 when Maryland previously tightened gun laws.

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, both Republicans, have invited gun makers to relocate to their states, promising no unwarranted government intrusion into the business.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.