Question about the legality of full capacity magazines


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priv8ter
March 27, 2003, 07:11 AM
So, I'm at the gun store the other day(see story in a different rant/post) and the guy behind the counter tells me that having a 13 round magazine for my H&K .40 is no big deal. He says that it doesn't matter that the magazine itself was made before 1994...if the gun it is in was made after 1994, then you are still breaking the law using it.

Now, I am no lawyer, and I am not as wise as most other people around here when it comes to gun laws, but that just doesn't sound right. Why would the price for Hi-Cap(oops, Full-Cap) mag's continue to go up, if it was illegal to use them in a new gun.

Is this just bad thinking on my part, or is this another case of the person behind the counter not knowing all the right answers?

Greg

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Hkmp5sd
March 27, 2003, 07:34 AM
Pre-ban normal capacity magazines (ie >10 rounds) are legal to use in any firearm they fit, regardless of the date of manufacture of that firearm.

Double Naught Spy
March 27, 2003, 08:00 AM
What a classic example of why you should never trust the guy behind the counter selling goods to you. The primary concern is that for the profit motif that the seller may embellish how good an item is, but another concern is simply the fact that just because the person is selling the item does not mean the person knows anything about it or the legalities of it. In this case, the guy was being wrong on a very conservative end of the scale if he was referring to federal laws. So, at least he wasn't trying to sell you something that would get you in trouble, but he isn't doing you or his business any favors being incorrect. That is why it is important that the consumer be well informed about the product and laws before making a purchase.

Croyance
March 27, 2003, 02:01 PM
I was in a gun store talking to an employee, an ex-cop, who said the same thing. I was looking at the then-new FN-HiPowers at the time.
I think, don't quiote me on this, that even in California and Massachusets, that the pre-94 magazine with post '94 gun is legal. Of course, in those states selling or transfering those magazines is not legal anymore.

Ala Dan
March 27, 2003, 02:26 PM
Greeting's All,

Post ban magazines stamped "LE/GOV'T USE ONLY"
are forbidden to be owned by civilian's. The magazines that
have these markings were made after the 94 date of the
"Klinton" agreement.

Its perfectly O.K. for civilians to own, posses, and use high
capacity pre ban magazine's.


*FWIW- I don't know of too many range officer's whose
going to want to inspect your magazine's, anyway!


Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

QuarterBoreGunner
March 27, 2003, 06:06 PM
Pre-ban normal capacity magazines (ie >10 rounds) are legal to use in any firearm they fit, regardless of the date of manufacture of that firearm

Yup. Hkmp5sd nailed it on the head. Pre 2000 I bought up a lot of magazines for semi-autos I thought I might buy someday.

I'd love to get a Beretta 92D- I've got four hi-cap mags just waiting for it, but they havn't been *approved* for sale in Kali yet.

Devonai
March 27, 2003, 07:13 PM
I think, don't quiote me on this, that even in California and Massachusets, that the pre-94 magazine with post '94 gun is legal. Of course, in those states selling or transfering those magazines is not legal anymore.


Actually, Massachusetts has no such restrictions. Somewhere somebody started a rumor about legality and now some distributors won't ship full-caps direct-to-buyer. They'll only ship to a dealer. That dealer can sell the mags to any customer with an FID (or LTC for pistol mags).

Getting full capacity mags in Massachusetts is no more difficult or expensive than anywhere else.

Nero Steptoe
March 27, 2003, 07:43 PM
If the guy behind the counter were very bright, he wouldn't be "the guy behind the counter".

cool45auto
March 27, 2003, 08:25 PM
I've got a couple of full capacity magazines that have '1996-FIM' on them, but no other markings. Now I only use these at the range so nothings been said about them. What do you guys think about those?

Timothy
March 27, 2003, 08:33 PM
Would someone please define, precisely, pre-ban magazine?

cool45auto
March 27, 2003, 09:07 PM
Any magazine made before the ban was put into effect in 1994. From then on magazines can only be made that hold 10 rounds. If you got any made before that I think you can use them in whatever they'll fit now, even if your gun was made after the ban.

Is that right guys?

Hkmp5sd
March 27, 2003, 09:09 PM
Is that right guys?

Yep.

Basically, as long as it does not say LEO or Government only or is otherwise marked that it was manufactured after 1994, it's a legal magazine.

10-Ring
March 27, 2003, 09:39 PM
Of course to add confusion to the mix, it is also illegal in the state of CA to buy, sell, give away or trade away hi cap mags. :banghead: IF you gottem, fine. But you can't buy them for a new gun or sell them if you sell off a gun. 10 rounders only :rolleyes:

jmbg29
March 27, 2003, 11:01 PM
Devonai,

Can you (legally) buy a high-cap mag from your neighbor without paperwork?

Can you (legally) buy a hi-cap mag from anyone at all with only a Class B LTC?

Can you (legally) own/possess a hi-cap mag with only a Class B LTC?

WESHOOT2
March 28, 2003, 05:28 AM
Whattabout the hi-cap mags marked "EXPORT ONLY"? :confused:

JimC
March 28, 2003, 07:17 AM
Whattabout the hi-cap mags marked "EXPORT ONLY"?

Speaks for itself, doesn't it? Wether we like it or not, these mags are not for US use, that's they way it is. :(

The magic date for the ban was 09/13/94. Standard capacity magazines after that date for US consumption are marked Restricted LE/Govt ONLY They also have the 09/13/94 date on the mag body.

ONLY ten round magazines are legal after that date unless they were mfg. prior to that date and , there is no state law where you reside prohibiting the possession of standard capacity magazines within that state.
NJ has a 15 round magazine limit. ANY magazine, even pre ban, is illegal if it holds more than 15 rounds here. LE are the exception to the rule. Retired LE [myself] are not exempt from the law.

If an LEO personally purchased LE/Restricted magazines while active, they may retain those magazines with a letter from their Chief or the head of the agency that they worked for in order to retain them legally [ATF ruling BTW].

Magazines made by the various mfgs. outside of the US made for sale outside of the US are marked For Export Only I have read but not seen that there are some marked Not For Sale In The US.

Restricted In The USA - Post 9/13/94 is what I was attempting to say. That is what is written on a Glock standard capacity magazine available in Europe.

I guess if you have a standard capacity magazine that is unmarked in any manner, it could be safe to assume that it's pre-ban.

The Walther P99 magazines seem to be the ones that bring about the most controversary as far as "pre ban" or pre 09/13/94.

The mentallity of..."if they're not marked, they must be legal" is incorrect.

I have a fair amount of information on my web site as to the P99 magazine controversary. Much of it is backed up by Walther GmgH and/or ATF. :( Some do not like the truth being told but for me, it's a matter of being legal. It may be something else for you. :confused:

Wether or not a magzine [standard capacity] is pre ban if it's not marked LE/Restricted, can possibly be traced by the patent date.

I have photos of Walther magazines that are serialized. This would definitely "date" them. :eek:

Lastly, I know of no law that prohibits the use of pre ban or standard capacity magazines in a post ban weapon other than local or state laws prohibiting their possession.

If you live in PA for example, they have no magazine limit law as far as I know, and you purchase a brand new, made this month Glock 17, you can legally use pre ban or standard capacity 17 round magazines in that pistol, no matter what the "jerk behind the counter" tells you. ;)

Handy
March 28, 2003, 11:05 AM
Just to foot note on what Jim said:

If the mag is not marked in such a way to inform the buyer or seller that it is restricted, you aren't going to be prosecuted for it. At the very worst, the mag could be confiscated. I'm not trying to give anyone an excuse to buy something they know they shouldn't, just saying you shouldn't be breaking out in cold sweats wondering if your mags are going to send you to prison.

There is just about zero enforcement on these issues. The gun community, like we are right here, tends to police itself. The ATF is much more concerned with straw purchasers, sawed off shotguns and illegal machineguns. Don't do anything obviously stupid and you won't have anything to worry about.

Hkmp5sd
March 28, 2003, 12:17 PM
As was just mentioned, if you have a non-marked magazine that you honestly believe to be preban (for example, they may not believe you have a pre-ban magazine for a gun that wasn't even around before '94), you're in the clear.

922 Unlawful Acts

(w)(4) If a person charged with violating paragraph (1) asserts that paragraph (1) does not apply to such person because of paragraph (2) or (3), the Government shall have the burden of proof to show that such paragraph (1) applies to such person. The lack of a serial number as described in section 923(i) of title 18, United States Code, shall be a presumption that the large capacity ammunition feeding device is not subject to the prohibition of possession in paragraph (1).

Devonai
March 28, 2003, 12:42 PM
Jmbg29, M1911 answered this question perfectly here. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10105)

jmbg29
March 28, 2003, 01:16 PM
That's what I thought. That makes this statementGetting full capacity mags in Massachusetts is no more difficult or expensive than anywhere else.untrue.

Most states do not have a Class A vs. Class B provision.

Even in my state WA (Formerly of the People's Communewealth of Massachewsh*ts BTW) one only needs a license to carry concealed. Open carry is legal (yes, I know that certain municipalities have laws against that, but look up the state pre-emtion law, and see how valid those local laws are). Private purchase of anything short of select-fire/full-auto is legal.

Devonai
March 28, 2003, 01:19 PM
Most states do not have a Class A vs. Class B provision.


You are absolutely right. In my complacency I forgot about the distinction. Sorry for the screw-up.

Mannlicher
March 29, 2003, 06:40 PM
I have heard stories of guys buying post ban hi caps, and just storing them away for that possible 'rainy day'. If push ever comes to shove, then the legality of magazines will be the least of your worries.

gun-fucious
March 29, 2003, 09:49 PM
of course y'all know that September 14th, 2004 will shift the paradym don'tcha?

Devonai
March 30, 2003, 01:44 AM
We can only hope, my friend.

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