Does Heller Protect Magazine Fed Semi-Auto's?


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bushmaster1313
February 9, 2011, 11:29 PM
Not talking about what the Constitution protects, I do not think Heller prohibits a state from banning magazine-fed semiautomatic rifles or pistols.

I also think a state could ban shotguns and rifles under 36 inches overall length.

Anyone see any post-Heller cases on this?

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General Geoff
February 10, 2011, 02:20 AM
Not talking about what the Constitution protects, I do not think Heller prohibits a state from banning magazine-fed semiautomatic rifles or pistols.

Heller protects "arms in common usage," which is not yet specifically defined, beyond "handguns"; however, magazine-fed autoloading pistols are more common these days than revolvers, so there is no logical reason that they aren't protected as a broad group with just those two distinguishing features (detachable magazine and automatic feeding).


I also think a state could ban shotguns and rifles under 36 inches overall length.

A state can ban anything its legislature wants until the ban is challenged in a court of law. But it's up to the courts to decide whether rifles and shotguns under 36" in length are "in common usage." There are easily millions of them in the hands of private citizens, so I would have to go out on a limb here and say they are; and if the current Supreme Court hears such a case, they're likely to agree. But the balance of that decision would be slim, (5-4) just as Heller was.

Bubbles
February 10, 2011, 11:18 AM
Heller II, which is pending before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, challenges:
- DC's ban on "large capacity ammunition feeding devices",
- DC's ban on pistols that can accept "large capacity ammunition feeding devices" (under the DC regs they are deemed machine guns), and
- DC's onerous registration process.

Oral arguments in the case were last fall, so we should get a ruling in the next few months.

hirundo82
February 10, 2011, 11:24 AM
DC considered essentially banning all semiauto pistols in the wake of Heller. They had a law on the books which defined any handgun capable of holding more than 12 rounds as a "machinegun," so any semiauto that had magazines of that size available would have been banned.

Even DC recognized that wouldn't stand, so they only enacted laws as stringent as all the assault weapon ban states combined.

bushmaster1313
February 11, 2011, 04:49 PM
NYC is very tough on magazines.
I think five is the limit, even on a shotgun.

Anyone know the law on 6 or 8 wheel guns?

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