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Magazine Capacity Laws

Discussion in 'Legal' started by GETxSOME, Jan 23, 2011.

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  1. GETxSOME

    GETxSOME Member

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    Can someone give me a walkthrough of both sides of the magazine capacity laws? A recent discussion with my brother about the incident in Arizona made me realize that I don't really know much about this topic, and I would like to be prepared the next time it comes up. So, if someone could explain reasons for and against magazine capacity restrictions I would be very grateful!
     
  2. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    I think you're not going to find very many folks here in favor of magazine capacity laws. I for one am completely against them and think it is one more step toward a total civilian firearm ownership ban, although most likely not in our lifetime.

    Magazine capacity ban came about as a result of '94 Assault Weapon ban. It limited newly manufactured magazines to 10 rounds for civilians. LEOs were not limited. Previously manufactured magazines were exempted which created a mad dash by some companies to churn out low quality high capacity magazines. There was a sunset provision built into the original AWB and on 9/13/2004 it expired. There are still a whole bunch of municipalities and even some states that enforce this draconian law. To date, there has not been any proof that the AWB was effective in lowering crime. In fact, quite the contrary. After the sunset many more States loosened conceal carry laws and civilians began defending themselves against criminals. That's the gist, but I'm sure a lot more folks here can add more info.
     
  3. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    Sure.

    Reasons for capacity restrictions: Fear, ignorance.
    Reasons against capacity restrictions: Common sense, and an understanding that a firearm with a large capacity magazine is no more deadly than one without.


    That, in a nutshell, is the argument.

    What most anti's (and others in favor of restricted capacity magazines) don't or can't understand is that even if the capacity of a firearm is limited to say, 10 rounds - it takes but a second to eject a spent mag and reload a fresh one. This was evidenced by the VA Tech massacre. He had 10 round mags, yet was still effective in his deadly goal. Lower-capacity mags do not deter criminals, or lessen crimes. Then again, gun laws in general seldom do.
     
  4. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Hi. It's stupid nonsense dreamed up by the people who think you shouldn't be allowed to own any firearm. They seem to think a 20 round rifle mag or 15 + round hand gun mag is somehow more dangerous in the hands of a loonie or criminal than a 5 or 10 round mag.
    It's primarily designed to split the 'shooting community'. Just like a battle rifle(media term is 'assualt rifle') ban or not allowing a flash hider with a bayonet lug. The 'once a year' hunter may think, "Why do you want that machine gun?", even if it's an AR15. While a battle rifle shooter just wants to shoot his rifle the way it was designed. Both guys will lose if they don't stand together.
    A loonie or criminal won't pay attention to any mag capacity law anyway.
     
  5. mickeygrimreaperblueeyes

    mickeygrimreaperblueeyes Member

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    I argue till I'm Blue in the face with my current Father in Law. He told me that the 2nd ammendment only covers single shot sporter rifles and not to current military grade rifles. It's funny to think that capacity control for a magazine is the topic. One shot, or a hundred, against tyranny and the despotic forms of government the Founders were trying to protect future generations from is the only thing we should be worried about.

    You can carry two dozen ten shot magazines and do the same thing that you could do otherwise. The 1994 Gun Ban was a waste of tax money and so is the ATF. Just my opinion. Hope you all have a great day. It's the idea behind the ban of anything that should scare the public, not the ban. The Idea that anyone in America that is a citizen should be limited in his or her freedoms by another person with a fear of living and possibly being harmed is pathetic. Dumb people should not be protected, but left to their own devices and the American Way will survive.
     
  6. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I picked the '94 AWB as a topic in my argument class in college. One of the tidbits I came across was when asked why congress chose 10 rounds as the limit, the interviewee mentioned there was no reason for that number, it was totally arbitrary.
    Go to a shooting match. Reloading hardly slows down anyone who practices. What would a magazine capacity ban accomplish? Make someone reload twice and spend 3 seconds longer on their killing spree? Would that make a difference in life or death? No, of course not. But it accomplishes the goal of putting more restrictions on the law abiding gun owners and that's the objective. They don't give a rip about public safety, they want you to not be able to own any guns. And chipping away at that right is good in there eyes, by a little slice at a time or a big chunk.
     
  7. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    Best response I have heard yet to mag restrictions is this:

    "Why are you trying to restrict how many rounds I have to defend myself? From a crowd of violent thugs, from a home invasion, etc". Just remember that criminals inherently do not obey the laws. The only people that a mag cap limit will hurt are the law abiding citizens.

    And, yes, the number is totally arbitrary. Once a 10 round limit is in place and someone shoots people with a 10 round magazine, they will want 7 or 5 or 3 or 0... And the you see that this is just a step in their plan... (if you want a low reason why they picked 10: they couldn't count any higher :uhoh: )
     
  8. GETxSOME

    GETxSOME Member

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    Thanks for the responses, but here is another question:

    I was still in high school when the '94 AWB expired in 2004, so I'm not very informed on how it all went down. Was there a vote to extend it, and if so why did it not pass?
     
  9. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    There have been multiple attempts to re-enact another AWB. The problem is that the original turned out to be political suicide for the Democrats. Since then, nobody's had the courage to support the various proposed "new" bans for long enough to get a vote.
     
  10. Davey Wavey

    Davey Wavey Member

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    If I repeat anything that anyone else has posted I apologize.

    Ignorant people think high capacity gun magazines are made for killing people and only for killing people. I'm not sure what the definition of "high capacity" is but I'm guessing it's anything higher than ten. *shrug*

    Reasons for the ban? Well if you believe that "high capacity" magazines have demonic powers or are self aware sentient beings capable of possessing people with said demonic powers causing them to go on bloody shooting rampages or if they are capable of going on bloody shooting rampages all by themselves then I would chalk those reasons up in the "For" column.

    Reasons against? Logic and common sense. Glock loaded with 30+ 9mm rounds sitting in my nightstand reducing the need to take time to reload in the event of an intruder? Yes please!

    But yes, as it was mentioned early on, reasons for are based on fear and ignorance.

    Tell us how your conversation with your brother went?

    dave
     
  11. dkk73

    dkk73 Member

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    (1) I believe the 2A was probably meant to grant to ordinary citizens (in some reasonable legal standing) a right to possess military arms comparable to those of an individual soldier.

    Now, obviously these days a foot-soldier can pack a lot more heat than most of us would be comfortable with in the house next-door. Unless all your neighbors are just perfect, perfectly responsible people who take their training seriously, are reliable, disciplined, etc, and you like the ideas of MANPADs, mortars, and claymores 30 ft from your house. :)

    Anyhow, the basic idea seems to me to include high-cap magazines (and come on, you can call a 33-rd 9mm glock mag "normal capacity" but that's being a bit stubborn. Or you're taller and heavier than I and can pack one of those suckers. I digress.)

    (2) There is a tactical advantage to not having to reload.

    It sounds as if this guy was taken down after he ran dry. So, yeah, the high-cap mag sounds like an enabler to his psychotic, evil shooting spree. I have to say I have a hard time arguing that it didn't help him. Different factors at play during the Luby's incident; guy reloaded twice (I think) due to the shock factor.

    So, instead of arguing that there's no logic behind mag restrictions (clearly there is), we should instead argue about what we believe are *overriding* reasons why it hinders more lawful people. E.g. defense in civil unrest, etc.

    I sense in this debate the old "we won't give an inch" attitude. Believe me, I argue and understand that. But, personally, I find it far clearer and easier to not argue that high-cap mags and "assault rifles" are harmless. Because, really they aren't. Or, if they are, why the heck did you buy them?

    These topics are intrinsically troll/rant bait. But I think it's important to have some kind of discussion.... Hope someone with a historical/legislative perspective (Workman?) can add any more info on how these laws have fared over time.

    Ah well, I suspect some kind of legislation is coming. Probably be a great opp. for the politicians to fiddle while Rome burns.

    David
     
  12. GETxSOME

    GETxSOME Member

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    To keep it short, his basic point was that if the gunman in Arizona would have only had a 10 round magazine, less people would have been hurt before he was taken down during his reload. His second point was: In what scenario does the average citizen really need to carry more then 10 rounds in a magazine?
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Maybe, maybe not. His reload may have been a lot faster and more positive (no fumbles) with a standard size magazine so he may have been able to kill or disable more of the folks who eventually fought him down.

    The same scenarios in which ANYONE ELSE would want more than 10 rounds in a magazine.
     
  14. Davey Wavey

    Davey Wavey Member

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    There's no way to prove that less people would have gotten hurt or killed. Let's say he used ten round magazines, was a very good shot, and every round was a kill shot. Then what, ban ten round magazines? Let's say he practiced reloads and was proficient at it. And killed twenty to thirty people using three mags. Ban ten round magazines AND carrying extra magazines? "The only reason to have so many large magazine clips is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible". It will never end.

    Ten will turn to nine will turn to eight will turn to seven all the way down until we are stuck with black power single shot pistols. No honest man needs more than one bullet right?

    All these gun laws do is impede law abiding people from defending themselves. It's something a lot of the antis and pro gun control people can't seem to understand. Research indicates that 100% of criminals don't follow the law.

    As for scenarios needing more than ten rounds...Can the people saying that guarantee the average citizen will never need more than ten? Like I said it will only impede law abiding people from from defending themselves. The ban won't do a damn thing.

    Criminals will still use the "people slaughtering child killing high capacity" magazines.
     
  15. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    Take your B-i-L paintballing - goggles but no padding (maybe a cup). Give him 10 rounds. Give yourself as many rounds as you want. Chase him through the woods and nail him. Afterwards, ask him how he felt PSYCHOLOGICALLY with only 10 rounds in his paintball pistol. :evil:
     
  16. lizziedog1

    lizziedog1 Member

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    As I have mentioned in another post, I teach at a school for juvenile delinquents. They have told me many times, that no law, magazine capacity or other, will deter them. You could pass an outright ban on all firearms, but these thugs will still be armed and dangerous. You and I will be then me at their mercy, which many don't have a shread of.
     
  17. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    The reasoning is simple.


    If they banned 12 packs of beer and limited sales of beer to 6 packs, would there be less drunk drivers?, Would people get less drunk?

    The reason? It wouldnt have any meaningful impact to the reduction of crime or make anyone more responsible.
     
  18. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Well thats not true in my opinion. Guns with large capacity magazines can fire more rounds in less time than guns with reduced capacity magazines. If the shooter in arizona had had to reload after every few rounds, he probably would have killed less people, because he would have been subdued by bystanders before he got off as many shots.

    Freedom is messy, and guns are designed to kill. Its a fact. There is risk involved in living in a free society. I do not support magazine bans. Going down that path is a slippery slope. If the shooter had only used 10 round mags, maybe he would have killed fewer people, but gun banners would then be calling 10 round mags "high capacity" and would want them banned too.
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Eh, maybe, maybe not. Read post 13. We shouldn't make blanket statements like this.

    But, yes, "freedom is messy," and it doesn't really matter who did what with ANY gun -- that doesn't remove the necessity and right of free people to own them.
     
  20. leadaddict

    leadaddict Member

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    I think the exemption for law enforcement is proof that even the anti's realize that in a situation where a gun is needed, more than 10 rounds is often required. Granted that an individual LEO's are more likely to be in such a situation than the average citizen but statistics were never very comforting to the person being attacked when the nearest LEO is 10 minutes away. Plus it happens to citizens just as often, if not more, than LEO's because of the shear numbers of us compared to LEO's.
     
  21. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

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    The people in favor of magazine capacity limits generally come from the theory that the only legitimate reason for ordinary citizens to own guns is for target shooting and hunting, and therefore no more than 10 rounds will ever be needed for a "legitimate" purpose. They completely ignore self-defense as a legitimate reason and the added utility that 15 or 20 rounds can bring. They also erroneously believe that limited magazines will result in fewer people killed in a mass shooting scenario.

    The easy counter to this argument is that Cho (VA Tech shooter) killed five times as many people as Loughner did, and he used standard sized magazines. The only thing that limited the body count in that case was the time that it took for police to arrive.
     
  22. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    I'm sorry, but that's nonsense. Guns are designed to propel small hunks of metal at high speeds. Period.

    They are often used to kill, that is true. But to say that thay are designed to is ridiculous, and depends on the similarly laughable assumption that killing is always a bad thing. Sometimes things need killed - from goblins in your house at 2am to a rabid dog in your yard threatening your kid.

    Long story short - "Guns are designed to kill" is the same kind of sensationalist, buzz-word laden fearmongering as "spray & pray" and "cop-killer bullets". Soundbites, specifically crafted to sound good on the evening news, but totally dependent on fictional thinking.
     
  23. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    If we concede that there is any reason for any limit at all, then there is no way to say where they will place the limit.
     
  24. gbw

    gbw Member

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    On the other hand....

    Lots o' nonsense, we keep making these goofy arguments that persuede no one.

    Larger mags do make the guns more deadly - that's why they exist and why armies use them.

    I'm not in favor of a mag limit either, it's a red herring, but there's no consitiutional right to a 500 rd. magazine. It's not an infringement on the RKBA, only on how often a reload is required.

    So I can't get too worked up about it IF it is 10 rds. The only argument so far that makes any sense is that as a precedent, the limit becomes arbitrary and could be set to 1.

    I saw one post where the guy seriously claimed a constitutional right based on convenience at the range.

    Some others that don't help much, IMO...

    Wrong. They were designed to kill, and to do it at long range. Propelling small hunks of metal at high speeds is just the overall best way to go about it for individuals.

    Wrong. It brings no added utility. It is extremely rare for any civilian to fire, or wish they could have fired, more than 10 rounds in any SD event. It just doesn't happen. Besides, does anyone want to actually carry a pistol that looks like it's taking a big steel dump?

    Cho had a very different environment, the comparison is questionable. He also seems to have been far better trained and competent, which matters more than mag size.

    It isn't a blanket statement, he said 'probably', and he's probably right - the shooter evidently wasn't too capable, thank goodness.

    This is reaching beyond credibility - the first opinion makes sense. Much better odds the guy was just clumsy, or nervous, or untrained, and would have bobbled any mag change, and smaller mags really may have made a difference.

    No. The needs of a citizen and a cop or soldier are very different. Citizens may retreat; they should not look for trouble, and they only defend. Cops and soldiers are obligated to go towards trouble and to intervene.
     
  25. leadaddict

    leadaddict Member

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    gbw - Thanks for the common sense thoughts. I agree that there are a lot of arguments are don't make sense. I want high capacity magazines precisely because they make my firearms 'more deadly'. I don't mind reloading a little more often on the range (except yesterday when I was out, it was about 5 degrees).

    It's good to hear desenct to common arguments. And the arbitrary nature of the 10 round limit is indeed scary.

    Where I disagree at some level is with the idea that Law Enforcement Officers will encounter a different threat than an average citizen. Yes, the individual officer will be more likely too do so, but I don't think that matters. Likelyhood of need shouldn't be the driver of a law/ban. If police are responding toward a threat, then most likely a 'citizen' is already there and in danger. Citizens are more often in harms way than police as a whole. Also police will respond to such a threat with large numbers of officers. So do they really need more bullets than the average citizen???

    I also think it does a disservice to limit the arguments to what is 'practical' for self defence, sports, and hunting. Our right to keep and bear arms shouldn't be limited by those catagories.
     
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