Dear Senator King;
I met you yesterday after the so called “public hearings” on the antigun bills; as I mentioned, I am an Executive Producer for OUTDOOR CHANNEL. I currently have four series in production, included GUN STORIES, the top show on OC, with several additional series in development. My series focus on guns, hunting, shooting and the outdoors.
This morning I met with my three Producers, and we made the decision that if these antigun bills become law, we will be moving all of our production OUT of Colorado.
We have already cancelled a scheduled filming session for late this month. Obviously, part of this is due to our own commitment to the right to keep and bear arms, but it also reflects 3 lawyers’ opinions that these laws are so poorly drafted and so designed to trap otherwise legal citizens into a crime (one of our attorneys referred to them as “flypaper laws”) that it is simply too dangerous for us to film here.
I can give you chapter and verse on the legal implications if you need, but suffice to say that the first legal opinion was so scary we went out and got two others. Al three attorneys agreed.
We are relatively small potatoes in television, but our relocation of production will cost Colorado a little less than a million dollars in 2013.
Secondly, we have proudly promoted Colorado in our productions (and have been moving more and more production into the state); now we will do exactly the opposite.
What does this mean for Colorado? The community of television producers is a small one. Last week I had lunch witha major network producer who was looking to locate his new reality series in Colorado. That producer is also a shooter, and the new reality series will now be based out of Phoenix. That lunch cost Colorado over a million in economic impact.
Thirdly, according to numbers I received from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (for whom I used to work) yesterday, hunting had an almost $800,000,000 impact on Colorado in 2012, driving as many as 8330 jobs. Next month I will be in Texas meeting with most of the top outdoor/hunting producers, and the Number One agenda item will be Colorado. Already, hunting organizations and statewide hunting clubs around the country are pulling out of Colorado, and we expect this trend to accelerate rapidly.
The message we will take to our viewers and listeners is that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be she a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado.
We reach millions of people, and, quite frankly, we have a credibility that Colorado government officials can no longer match. Colorado Division of Wildlife is already running ads trying to bring more out of state hunters to Colorado… in light of the flood of negative publicity about these proposed laws, I can assure you those ads will fail.
We estimate that as many as one quarter to one third of out of state hunters will desert Colorado in the next 18-24 months, which will quite frankly be a disaster for the hunting industry in Colorado and have a devastating effect on our western and northern communities (certainly like Grand Junction).
This is not a “boycott” in the traditional sense of a centralized, organized operation; rather, it is more of a grassroots decision on where shooters, hunters and other sportsmen are willing to spend their money. Look at the collapse of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in February. That venerable multimillion dollar trade show chose to ban modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines, and with three weeks it collapsed as all vendors and sponsors pulled out.
Colorado is going to pay a huge price for laws that will do nothing.
Thank you, sir, for your support.