A major firearms accessory manufacturing company has announced it is leaving Colorado and a major regional shooting competition was canceled, both due to the recent gun control legislation passed by the Colorado legislature and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
HiViz Shooting Systems is in talks with a neighboring state to move its headquarters and operations. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Western States Regional IDPA Championship announced it is canceling its July competition in Montrose, where more than 300 competitors and event staff were to gather for several days.
Amid calls for a boycott by hunters due to Colorado’s gun legislation, the latest news adds more to a list of companies or groups announcing a departure from the state. Magpul has said it will move its operations, as did Outdoor Channel television show producer Michael Bane. Ruger also announced it will not hold its annual rimfire shooting competition in the state.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunting and the shooting industry combine for a more than $1.1 billion impact to Colorado’s economy.
Releases from the companies:
HiViz To Relocate
FORT COLLINS, Col. — HiViz Shooting Systems, a division of North Pass Ltd., announces plans to relocate operations due to recent changes in Colorado’s gun control legislation.
HiViz President and CEO, Phillip Howe, said talks are currently under way with officials of a neighboring state regarding the move.
“I make this announcement with mixed emotions,” Howe said. “Colorado is a beautiful state with great people, but we cannot in clear conscience support with our taxes a state that has proven through recent legislation a willingness to infringe upon the constitutional rights of our customer base.”
Howe notes that prior to the changes in law in Colorado, he made several attempts to persuade state officials via emails and telephone calls to proceed slowly with gun control legislation that would impact individual shooters and the shooting industry as a whole.
Although the relocation will be expensive and time consuming, Howe adds, “It is in the best interest of our company and our customers.”
Starting with corporate headquarters, the operations will be moved over an extended period of time ensuring no interruption of services to its customer base, and HiViz states that the majority of its employees will make the move with the corporate operations.
HiViz Shooting Systems manufactures light-gathering sights, recoil pads and accessories for the shooting industry.
IDPA Regional Shoot Canceled
GRAND JUNCTION, Col. — Organizers of the Rocky Mountain Western States Regional IDPA Championship, initially scheduled to take place July 4-6 in Montrose, Col., have announced that the match is being canceled in the wake of Colorado’s recently passed gun control laws.
An estimated 300-plus shooters from neighboring states and across the country were expected to attend the three-day competitive shooting event. This is the second shooting competition to abandon the state after a recent announcement by firearms maker Ruger that it was moving the 2013 Ruger Rimfire Challenge World Championship out of Colorado.
“With these new Colorado laws going into effect July 1, and based on the ambiguous way in which they were written, we have decided to cancel the Rocky Mountain Western States Regional IDPA Championship,” said event organizer Walt Proulx of Grand Junction.
“Due to the growing number of hunters and shooters choosing to boycott Colorado, and the risk that these laws as written will turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, we were left with no other choice but to cancel what was planned to be one of IDPA’s major regional championships, and one strongly supported by Montrose-area businesses.”
Cancellation of the Rocky Mountain Western States Regional adds to the negative economic impact resulting from the passage of Colorado’s recent gun control legislation. Already, Colorado-based firearms accessories manufacturer Magpul Industries Corp. has announced its intention to leave the state, and Michael Bane, an independent producer for the Outdoor Channel, has said he will cease production of four of the channel’s popular shooting programs in Colorado.
Hunters and shooters, as well as the firearms industry, play a major role in Colorado’s economy. According to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, more than $590 million in annual economic impact is generated by the firearms industry in the state while Colorado’s 259,200 hunters spend another $465 million annually.
For more information on IDPA visit www.IDPA.com.