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Gun store owner to leave state over gun control vote

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Mar 08 2013 11:51:18 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 09 2013 01:38:19 AM CST

Local people react to state lawmakers passing four gun control bills while remaining undecided on three.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The owner of a Colorado Springs gun store said Friday that he'll keep his promise to move out of Colorado in opposition to the gun control issue in the Legislature.

Jeff Lepp of Specialty Sports on Fountain Boulevard promised Monday that he would move out, possibly taking some of his 22 employees with him, if lawmakers passed any of the seven proposed gun control bills.

"I had been looking at setting up two new stores in Colorado," said Lepp.  "I've canceled all that."

Lepp said the gun control issue will have far-reaching economic impacts in the state -- affecting ranching, hunting, skiing and tourism in general.  He said he's heard from many business owners who also plan to leave Colorado.

In a related development Friday, the Outdoor Channel announced it will no longer produce shows in Colorado because of a perception that the state is unfriendly to sportsmen.

"I can tell you that right now, all over the country, there are people and organizations talking about boycotting Colorado," said Lepp.  "States like Texas are going to market in this state to draw business and industry, I promise you."

Lepp said the issue is a question of freedom, and restricting gun sales and ownership in the name of safety is a mistake.

"I think there's an agenda in place that (lawmakers) want to do, to establish a certain style of life in Colorado," he said.  "You can't change if people are going to be insane, crazy or act foolish."

Lepp, who has been in business for 19 years, said he'll decide at the end of the year if he'll keep his store open after he moves away.  He said he hasn't decided which state to choose.

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