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Magpul Gun Company Mutes Its Connection To Sandy Hook, and Media Comply

| February 1, 2014

During the gun-safety debate in the Colorado Legislature, Magpul threatened to take its 200 jobs and flee Colorado if gun-safety laws were put in place. (Joe Cereghino)

During the gun-safety debate in the Colorado Legislature, Magpul threatened to take its 200 jobs and flee Colorado if gun-safety laws were put in place. (Joe Cereghino)

By Jason Salzman

A Colorado gun-accessories company garnered national media coverage when it announced plans to move most of its manufacturing and sales operations to Wyoming and Texas.

The reports highlighted that the company was pulling up stakes to protest the state’s new gun safety laws, which Colorado passed last year.

What did the coverage leave out? The fact that the company, Magpul Industries, manufactured the magazine shooter Adam Lanza used when he gunned down kids and adults in the Newtown, Connecticut massacre.

Jason Salzman

Jason Salzman

Over the past year in Colorado, Magpul has taken a leadership role in opposing gun-safety legislation. Among other things, my state has banned magazines holding 30 bullets, like the one used at Sandy Hook.

During the gun-safety debate in the Colorado Legislature, Magpul threatened to take its 200 jobs and flee Colorado if gun-safety laws were put in place.

The company’s executives testified at the same legislative hearings as Jean Dougherty, sister of the slain Newtown psychologist Mary Sherlach. Colorado Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, helped set up Magpul as the face of Democratic “over-reach” on the gun legislation. Those state legislators said this legislation was unpopular, even though polls showed otherwise.

The Republican State Senate leader scolded Democrats for backing legislation that would drive away the company. He pointed out that Magpul magazines were used by Navy Seals in their killing of Osama bin Laden.

other-wordsAt the time, it wasn’t known that a Magpul magazine was also used at Newtown, even though the chances were good, because Magpul makes the most popular brand of 30-round magazine sold nationwide.

After a law limiting magazines sold in Colorado to holding 15 bullets or fewer, Magpul stepped up its political activities, leading a major fundraising event for the recall campaigns against two Democratic State Senators who voted for the new gun laws.

At one fundraiser, the company sold over 15,000 magazines for $10 each, with all the money from sales going toward the recall effort. Eventually, both lawmakers were voted out of office in the recall election.

It was a highly unusual political ride for a private company, especially one with such an obvious vested interest in the outcome. Obviously, companies get involved in politics, especially on the money side, but to take such a high-profile lobbying position at the state level, including involving itself in a recall campaign? That’s rare, if not unprecedented.

But things turned sour for Magpul at the end of last year, when Connecticut police reported that a Magpul magazine was used at Sandy Hook.

Magpul’s response? Silence.

After rushing to every microphone in Colorado during the legislative battle, Magpul had nothing to say to reporters about its connection to the Newtown shooting, even when photos of its magazines, used by the shooter, were released in December.

Then, Magpul jumped back into the news last week, when it announced its departure from Colorado.

But even though the company was exacting revenge for a gun law that might have prevented a gunman from having a 30-round magazine had it been in place in Connecticut or nationally, reporters didn’t mention that Magpul’s bullet holders were used at Sandy Hook.

To be fair, journalists could have mentioned that the U.S. military uses Magpul magazines against our enemies, as well as the fact that mass murderers use them at home.

How is this information not an integral part of the Magpul story?

A former media critic for the Rocky Mountain News, Jason Salzman is board chair of Rocky Mountain Media Watch and author of Making the News: A Guide for Activists and Nonprofits.

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23 Responses for “Magpul Gun Company Mutes Its Connection To Sandy Hook, and Media Comply”

  1. HonkeyDude says:

    What difference does it really make with the size of the magazine. When it only takes a second to reload. Sounds like the Gov is taking people snipe hunting.

    • Sven says:

      It doesn’t make any difference at all. Also, the shooter was already acting as if he had smaller magazines. The police report shows that he discarded most of his magazines with many rounds left unused in them. Why? Because he was using a video game technique of reloading frequently (even when one one doesn’t need to), so that he’ll always be ready with a full magazine. Gamers do this so they’ll have a full magazine when entering a new room or battle. Therefore, this whole “high capacity” magazine argument is a complete fabrication; based on his sub-optimal use of the 30 round magazines, would not have killed any less with smaller magazines. He already was making far many more reloads than was necessary. For the record, a 30 round magazine isn’t high capacity, it’s the standard size magazine for the AR-15.

      • Sven says:

        Additionally, why has the press been silent about the brand of shoes worn by the shooter? We need to hold them accountable, whether it be Nike or Adidas, we demand justice! What a ridiculous argument. In a normal society, the PERSON is held responsible, not the objects used by said person.

    • SteveCO says:

      A crazed murderer stopping to reload gives a chance to tackle and disarm the murderous piece of crap.
      Ignorance is why people have become afraid of gun owners and a fascist, criminal NRA that approves of guns being sold to criminals and mental patients.
      BTW, any of you ticked off that the NRA secretly has been gathering and storing every bit of info about every single member ever? They were caught last year doing it IN SECRET. The NRA, as bad as the NSA, doing exactly what it always accused the feds of doing.
      Now we have domestic terrorists in the House continuing their insurrectionist ways, passing yet more far right wing gun bills that have zero chance even in the Senate, much less Obama’s signature.
      Obstructionist, money wasting cowardly corporate robots.

  2. Geezer says:

    I say we go after Anheuser Busch for brewing beer and the Jack Daniels distillery for
    supplying alcoholics with booze. Then go after Dodge and Chevy for making
    vehicles that can run people over. Next we visit Phillip Morris and shut them down
    for making cowboy killers. Afterwards, let’s drop by Walmart and remove
    baked beans from the shelves ’cause them there beans makes people pass wind.

    Let’s kick butt and take names later after we open some cans of whoop-ass.
    Heck let’s pull those off the shelf too!

  3. Good for the Gander says:

    Did Chevy or Ford come out and tell the media that their cars and trucks killed 36,000 Americans last year ? Yep, I didn’t think so……Did Samual Adams come out and tell the media that its alcohol drink killed 5,789 people last year ? Did Smernoff Vodka ? Did Captain Morgan ? Did Clorax come out and tell the media tht 2,834 people died of Clorax poisoning last year…Nope…didn’t think so !!!

  4. David says:

    What does it matter who manufactured the magazines that Adam Lanza used? It doesn’t matter who produced the magazines or weapons he used, those companies did not have anything to do what Adam Lanza did. Do we ask what Honda has to say about their involvement in this? Adam Lanza would never had made the 5.1 miles from his house to the school on foot without his Black Honda Civic.

  5. Ben Dover says:

    how these low life dirt bags look at themselves in the mirror is beyond me , how they sleep knowing one of their guns might kill 30 more school children or a hospital ward the next day is beyond me , Greed is getting so out of hand in this country , even our government local and Congress have no morals or values anymore , they take passages out of bibles and twist them to clear what conscience they have left, take the constitution out of context ,its really like the devil has booted the angel off all these greedy bastards shoulders, they steal from the poor to give more to the rich, when they know what to do with it all anyway, just greed greed greed, no matter who dies getting the money


    So if somebody buys one of the new 625-horsepower Corvettes and loses control of it on A1A, does that make Chevrolet responsible for the death of the little old lady he runs down?

  7. Tired says:

    Placing any blame on company that manufactures magazines for shootings is completely ridiculous. That is the same thing as placing blame on Ford for someone getting killed while driving drunk. If your liberal “partners” in crime get their way and gun control takes affect, you will be begging for real men that understand the need for guns in our society. Look at Chicago and NY…only the bad guys now have guns and crime is out of control.

  8. karma says:

    You have to love stories like this. Lets blame the gun maker,magazine maker or the bullet maker. What a perfect example of not holding the person reasonable. A mother takes her “known” troubled kid to a gun range and teaches him how to use the weapon. She then leaves it unsecured in the home. Her poor decision cost many life’s to be taken away including her own.
    Thousand of children have drowned in the family pool over the years. We don’t blame the pool makers. Most parents or Grandparents are never charged with any crime. Is not the homeowner just as guilty as the gun owner for their poor decisions. The same could be said about many auto accidents. Blame the auto maker?
    This story is nothing more than lets support gun control. The only thing the writer missed was a dig at the NRA. I see a part two in the future..

  9. Outsider says:

    I guess we can blame Joe Biden for the most recent mall shooting, where the perp used a shotgun. His advice was to “Buy a shotgun…….buy a shotgun.”

  10. Anita says:

    Do you mean “Real Men” like the ex-cop who killed a guy for texting while waiting for the movie to begin; the jerk in Flagler Beach who fatally shot his neighbor for complaining about his barking dogs; the OTHER ex-cop from FB, recently sentenced for putting two bullets into an unarmed fireman during a traffic dust-up; the Jacksonville jackass who fired into a car full of unarmed teenagers because he was a fan of neither their music nor their attitude; the “unconvicted” criminal who stalked, shot and killed Trayvon Martin? Are those the “good guys” you’re talking about? The Real Men? What do they morph into if they lose their guns? Liberals? You need to change your myopic view of the world and look a little closer to home for brutes with guns.

    Liberal that I am, I do not agree with blaming gun manufacturers for gun deaths anymore than they can be blamed for the pathologically aggressive people who possess them, or for those who miss no opportunity to lambaste their political opponents for any and every hare-brained scheme being proposed. And, assuming ALL Liberals are unarmed might someday be a very big mistake.

  11. Nancy N. says:

    Wow, just listen to the mindless lemmings parrot back the identical talking points that they’ve been fed by the NRA…they can’t even think for themselves.

    And sorry, “tired”, but your argument lost any credibility the moment that you started equating being a “real man” with owning a lethal weapon. Being a real man has nothing to do with owning an object that gives you the ability to kill another human being in a split second. It’s way more complicated – and difficult to achieve – than just walking into a store and slapping down some cash.

    • Geezer says:

      “mindless lemmings parrot back the identical talking points”

      Sorry Nancy, as much as I look forward to your postings – I vehemently disagree with you.
      As far as the lemmings barb goes, know that I am politically neutral, and I am an independent thinker.
      Where have you seen my thoughts mirrored? Where did I cut and paste my comment from?
      Who is the original source of my “parroting”? Give us a link.

      I won’t take it personal but I suggest that you refrain from insulting other readers.
      I realize that you are passionate about gun control. You have every right to express yourself,
      even if it gives me a migraine.

      By the way, Polly wants a cracker.

      I still love you.

  12. downinthelab says:

    I’m sorry Pierre, but it looks like public opinion has weighed in on this issue more than once!

    Time to move on!!

  13. A.S.F. says:

    I disagree…It is NOT time to “move on.” Anytime there is a tragedy that makes the evening news, this issue comes up again, for good reason. Most polls show that majority of Americans want a tightening of gun control laws. Not everyone equates owning a gun with their testosterone level. And owning a gun does not automatically confer safety and invincibility/invulnerability on anyone. It is the individual who mistakenly believes that too strongly that is more likely to find, it real life, that it is not true.

  14. Mark Crist says:

    Lanza also drove to Sandy Hook elementary in a Honda Civic. Anything from Honda on that?

  15. Joel A. says:

    This piece is just more liberal rehash. Referring to The recent weapon restriction/ control law passed in Colorado as gun safety law is rediculous. Does having to use a 15 round magazine really make my rifle any safer than when I use a 30 round mag? It never had anything to do with safety and everything to do about control. That Magpul magazines were used by that little scumbag is about as relevant as what brand of tires were on his car or what brand of cell phone he liked but no one is writing hit pieces on those companies .

  16. MrApple says:

    When someone drinks and drives (which happens a great more often than a mass shooting) does the beer and automobile companies have to answer for the misuse of their product? This article is little more than Liberal drivel.

  17. A.S.F. says:

    @Mark Crist says–What a disingenuous remark. Lanzas mother did not have multiple Hondas in her garage that she encouraged her son drive frequently and plow into dummies with bullseye targets on them, as a “fun” and bonding activity for them to share.

  18. confidential says:

    Please do not make awful comparisons using parrots as they are wonderful, beautiful and very intelligent birds! Besides the fact that do not repeat what they hear, but instead they learn to use the words with the actions. One walks in and they say hello or how are you, give them food they like and they say yummy among many other expressions and could even be bilingual. So, no comparisons undermining parrots please!

  19. Diana L. says:

    It isn’t the gun, itself, it is the gun culture. The gun manufacturers and the gun lobby have created a culture where guns make you “a man”, the bigger the better, more is more, etc. My gun is bigger than yours, and more. And they have created this fear that “they are coming to get your guns”. They know that fear is easily spread, it doesn’t matter if it is true or no, they just want to make you think it is true. Of course, this manufacturer is silent on this because their product killed little, white kids unlike the gun manufacturer of the gun that killed that black teenager they welcomed the killer with open arms.

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