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Firearms-makers to politicians on gun rights: You balk, we walk

Firearms companies ranging from gun shops to machinists are joining forces to oppose new gun control laws. Some are threatening to move away from states that crack down on guns, others are refusing to sell gear to police that can't be sold to citizens.

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Nevertheless, at least one of the companies on the "police loophole" list, Predator Intelligence of Phoenix, says its pushback against new gun-control laws is having an impact.

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"We have police from LA and NYC that contact us about purchasing Magazines if they provide proof," the company wrote recently on Facebook. "Why should we consider sending them to states that want to enforce laws that are unconstitutional?"

Indeed, the lack of support from police may have led the Minnesota State Senate this week to drop proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“The assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazine ban proposals are highly divisive,” Sen. Ron Latz, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, noting that those proposals had not received strong support from police.

While Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, for example, has said it's time for new limits on some guns and ammunition, threats by a major Colorado arms manufacturer, Magpul, to take hundreds of jobs out of state if the governor signs such laws appear to have given Mr. Hickenlooper some pause.

After the House passed four specific gun-control bills recently, including limiting the kind of magazines that Magpul builds, Hickenlooper has not yet signaled whether he'll sign the measures into law. (The Colorado Senate has yet to vote on the package.)

“We haven’t taken a specific position on that bill yet,” Hickenlooper said this week, as reported by Colorado Public Radio, “but I from time to time have said contradictory things on it.”

While Magpul employs 200 people directly, it's slated to spend $85 million buying goods, particularly injection-molded plastics, from other Colorado firms in 2013. The company says it would spend that money elsewhere if Colorado moves ahead with its gun-control package, saying their customers would object if any or all of the product was built in a gun-critical state.

Texas, South Carolina, and Idaho, meanwhile, are pleading with Magpul to relocate to their more gun-friendly states.

"South Carolina would welcome Magpul with open arms," US Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) wrote to the company. "South Carolina is a freedom-loving state. The Second Amendment is very near and dear not only to the folks in my district, but to folks in the entire state."

How much do you know about the Second Amendment? A quiz.

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