Archive for the 'High Capacity Magazines' Category



The History Of Magazines Holding 11 Or More Rounds

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Kopel has a nicely argued brief filed with the Ninth Circuit on the history of magazines holding 11 or more rounds.  The context is the case of Fyock v. Sunnyvale, where the district court upheld the California ban on standard capacity magazines because “magazines did not exist at the time the Second Amendment was ratified.”

Some of the history I knew, and some of it I didn’t.  In Either case, the brief is very interesting, filled with both facts and analysis, and much better than Eugene Volokh’s ill-advised (and unripe) commentary on magazines.

Kopel colors outside the lines when he says this:

If the firing of several shots has wounded one attacker, and has resulted in the other attacker putting up his hands, the defender needs to control the situation until the police arrive. That is why reserve capacity is so important for law enforcement and for citizens. Reloading is very difficult when the second hand is holding a cell phone. Even a two-handed reload will likely make the gun temporarily inoperable and cause the gun to move off target for at least a few seconds, giving the criminal(s) a new window of opportunity. Citizens do not carry police radios, and police response to a cell phone call about citizen in trouble is often slower than the response to a radio call about an officer in trouble. The reasons why magazines for greater than 10 rounds are the overwhelming choice for law enforcement officers for lawful defense of self and others apply a fortiori to citizens, who rightly  look to law enforcement officers as good models for gun safety practices.

The point is fundamentally sound, but I have never in the past, do not currently, and will never in the future look to law enforcement for gun safety practices.

Supreme Court Won’t Block Ban On High Capacity Magazines

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

SFGate:

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to halt Sunnyvale’s enforcement of a voter-approved ban on high-capacity gun magazines. The order signaled that San Francisco will also be allowed to enforce a virtually identical ordinance during court challenges.

Sunnyvale’s measure, approved by 66 percent of its voters in November, prohibits possession of magazines carrying more than 10 cartridges.

A group of gun owners sued to overturn the Sunnyvale ordinance and asked a federal judge to block its enforcement, arguing that tens of millions of Americans legally own guns with high-capacity magazines and may sometimes need them to repel criminal attacks.

But U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose rejected the request March 5, the day before the ordinance took effect, saying the ban would have little impact on the constitutional right to bear arms in self-defense.

A federal appeals court refused to intervene, and on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles emergency appeals from California and eight other Western states, denied a stay without comment.

More often than not, when the SCOTUS refuses to hear a case, they know full well how it will turn out and conclude that the outcome wouldn’t be any different than the way it is before review.

Occasionally I like the decisions made at the appeals court level.  But more often than not I don’t.  But one thing I do not do is rely on the federal court system to protect my rights.

I am a second amendment and gun rights writer, but I only loosely call myself that.  Readers know that I don’t believe that I have a right to own firearms because the constitution says so.  I also don’t believe in so-called “natural law” or “natural rights.”

Ever since my seminary training in apologetics and philosophy, having seen John Locke thoroughly dissembled with logic, I don’t reference his views for anything.  No respectable philosopher today does.  Even among the legal community, John Whitehead is an exception.  In order for something to be “natural,” it has to be binding upon all men and capable of epistemic certainty.  To me, the concept of a natural right to own guns is no better than the notion of the new head of a pride killing the young lions so that the lionesses will come into estrus again – or the lioness trying to defend her young one.  What’s natural to one won’t be natural to another.

So why do I have a right to own guns, or high capacity magazines?  Because God says so.  That settles it for me, whether the constitution recognizes it or not, whether a judge certifies it or not.  You may not have my world view, and I’m okay with that.  But every man must come to his own conclusions and ascertain the ultimate foundation for what he does and what he believes.

You live on the Serengeti desert in a Machiavellian world of eat or be eaten, with no concept of right and wrong, or you know whereof you act, and you know why what you do and what you believe is morally righteous.  And If you were relying on a federal judge to warranty your rights, you’ve been disavowed of that mistaken belief as we speak.  Is that clear enough?

Eugene Volokh On The Second Amendment And Magazine Capacity

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Eugene Volokh:

A gun with a larger than usual capacity magazine is in theory somewhat more lethal than a gun with a 10-round magazine (a common size for most semiautomatic handguns), but in practice nearly all shootings, including criminal ones, use many fewer rounds than that. And mass shootings, in which more rounds are fired, usually progress over the span of several minutes or more. Given that removing a magazine and inserting a new one takes only a few seconds, a mass murderer — especially one armed with a backup gun — would hardly be stymied by the magazine size limit. It’s thus hard to see large magazines as materially more dangerous than magazines of normal size.

[ ... ]

Still, these same reasons probably mean that the magazine size cap would not materially interfere with self-defense, if the cap is set at 10 rather than materially lower. First, recall that until recently even police officers would routinely carry revolvers, which tended to hold only six rounds. Those revolvers were generally seen as adequate for officers’ defensive needs, though of course there were times when more rounds are needed.

[ ... ]

… even if bans on magazines with more than 10 rounds are unwise, not all unwise restrictions are unconstitutional. That’s true for speech restrictions. It’s true for abortion restrictions. And I think it’s true for gun restrictions as well.

This is an oddball commentary by Eugene.  I don’t think the issue is whether, as the judges tried to adjudicate, a magazine capacity restriction burdens the second amendment, but whether those who are protected are burdened by the restriction.  It’s not a trivial distinction.

I’m not really sure why he drew on the issue of abortion rights to create the analogue.  It isn’t a very good one.  The wording of the second amendment is clear, including the phrase “shall not be infringed.”  The Supreme Court created a right to abortion ex nihilo.

Even if you believe that such a right exists, the analogous wording isn’t there in the constitution to protect it.  Thus, restrictions on abortion have no equivalency to restrictions on firearms.

Furthermore, there is a case to be made that restrictions on abortion and lack of restrictions on firearms have the same goal, i.e., the preservation of life.  Eugene provides the defeater argument for his own case, and states a contradictory conclusion anyway.  But firearms are used for more than just personal defense.  They are also necessary for the amelioration of tyranny.  Both of these are life preserving things, just as restrictions on abortion are life preserving restrictions.

Why Eugene didn’t choose to work on this angle and why he chose the opposite, is anyone’s guess.  All in all, this isn’t one of Eugene’s better pieces of work.  I think he missed the mark, and widely so.

For magazine capacity and what it may do for you, see also my analysis of Mr. Stephen Bayezes.

Perhaps A “High Capacity Magazine” Would Be Good To Have In A Case Like This

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

Orangeburg, S.C.

South Carolina authorities are searching for seven men involved in a bizarre home invasion and kidnapping.

Police were called to an Orangeburg home at approximately 3:55p.m. on Tuesday in reference to an burglary and kidnapping.

Authorities say their investigation indicates seven unknown males with guns forced their way into the residence, forcing three adults and six juveniles to the floor. One of the gunmen struck a 52-year-old woman in the head with a gun while she was protecting her grandson. A 4-month-old was taken from the residence.

According to police, this was a targeted crime.

Renee Gilliard wasn’t home at the time but said she was horrified to learn the only thing the intruders found was her baby girl. The baby was gone for about two hours before she was found in Berkeley County by a passerby who saw the criminals discard the child on the side of the road.

Yea.  A seven-man home invasion.  If you’re toting a 1911 from room to room, you’d better be damned accurate with that thing.  I have carried a rifle from room to room before around the house, but it’s truly obnoxious.  I would carry a 1911 around the house, but in a seven-man home invasion I think I’d be better off with one of my polymer-frame double-stack pistols.

Piers Morgan And Bob Costas On Guns Again

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 1 week ago

As if we could take any more, Piers Morgan and Bob Costas talk guns.

As part of an hour-long conversation conducted in front of a live audience, the man who’s hosted a record nine Olympic games shares his stance on gun control and firearm legislation, offering a response to those that suggest assault weapons with high-capacity magazines are necessary as a means of self-defense:

“They always present this theoretical – ‘well, what if there’s not one or two invaders to my home, what if there’s 10 or 12 and after I’ve killed the first eight or nine, I need to reload?’,” quotes Costas. “Yes, let me know when that happens. And between now and when that happens, sadly, there’s going to be another Aurora, there’s going to be another Newtown.”

We all know that Piers Morgan is a liar, so there’s no need to rehearse that.  But Bob wants us to let him know when someone actually needs a high capacity magazine to defend his life.  Well, here you go Bob.  It happened before you ever did this stupid interview.  It has to do with Mr. Stephen Bayezes.

We may suppose that Costas wants it to happen this way instead (via David Codrea).

I never really had any respect for Costas as a sportscaster anyway.  I think he is an amateur.

Beretta To Leave Maryland

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

As I had hoped, Beretta isn’t full of windbags and liars.  They are honest folk.  They said they would leave Maryland, and they are.

New legislation is forcing gun manufacturing company Beretta to uproot and take their business elsewhere.

Established in 1526, Beretta holds the distinction of being the oldest active firearms manufacturer in the world. The U.S. factory is located in Accokeek, Maryland, and has been a staple of the local economy for years.

Beretta warned that stricter gun control laws would push the company outside of state lines, but that didn’t stop Maryland legislators. Jeffrey Reh, a spokesman for Beretta who also serves as the President of Stoeger Industries under Beretta, announced that the company would begrudgingly uproot and take its business elsewhere. He said, “We don’t want to do this, we’re not willing to do this, but obviously this legislation has caused us a serious level of concern within our company.”

He added that Beretta paid approximately $31 million in taxes, employs 400 people, and had invested $73 million in the business over the past several decades. Despite being such a prominent player in the local economy, Beretta was unable to prevent legislators from passing tighter gun control laws. Ironically, Beretta manufactures some firearms that are now banned in Maryland.

Good.  I hope it’s painful and hard for Maryland.  I hope they lose business of all kinds, and I hope they feel it right in the pocketbook.  Take note of the next bit.

One legislator stated: “Other than target shooting, the only other reason [for a semi-automic firearm] would be for self-defense… [Why would you need a] rifle that accommodates 20 rounds semi-automatic for deer hunting? … It’s only very infrequently that someone commits a crime with an assault weapon – why do you need one for self-defense?”

Of course, it’s tempting to respond something like, “Well, if you weren’t such a dumb ass you would know that there have been home owners who had to use just such weapons with high capacity magazines to defend their very lives.  And you know, under duress you might miss.  And you know, multi-man home invasions are becoming the tactic of choice for criminals nowadays.  If you weren’t a dumb ass you would know these things.  Dumb ass.”

But tempting as it is, the best response is also the simplest: “I need all the high powered weapons and high capacity magazines I can get in order to hold tyrants like you accountable.”

Closer every day, inch by inch.

Limited Capacity Onslaught

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Morning Sentinel:

In his current constituent response about the gun-control discussion and legislative proposals, Sen. Angus King says he has serious reservations about limiting “assault weapons” as there is “too much emphasis on the cosmetic appearance of particular firearms rather than their actual functionality.”

A carefully presented NRA tutorial is being circulated among pro-gun control folks about the “assault weapon” misnomer. It’s real intent, though, is to say that if you can’t distinguish an “assault weapon” by definition, then your case for limiting anything is questionable.

The gun control effort is not about cosmetics nor technical definitions of weaponry and does not seek to obliterate anyone’s Second Amendment rights.

This so-called “assault” on gun owner’s rights is not a high-capacity, rapid-fire onslaught against all guns nor their owners. It is, however, a limited capacity onslaught where the outcome will be a lessening of deaths.

Limited capacity onslaught.  It’s okay if only 15 or so people die.  Exceeding that threshold crosses the line, however.  It rankles the sensibilities of all good Americans.  Just kill fewer people if you’re going to perpetrate such a heinous act.  We won’t talk about what higher capacity could possibly do for the man who’s trying to stop the heinous act.

Limited capacity onslaught.  There you have it.  Schoolchild logic in today’s America.

Ban High Capacity Magazine Clips

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

Tonight I heard Jay Carney advocate, on behalf of the President, the banning of all high capacity magazine clips.  Heretofore I was under the impression that they wanted to ban high capacity magazines.  As long as we are discussing high capacity magazine clips, I will throw my full support behind the ban.  Who can say that I am not a cooperative and reasonable individual?

What Was That About Not Needing A High Capacity Magazine?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

In Do We Have A Constitutional Right To Own An AR?, I noted 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-man home invasions that had occurred all over America in the span of just a few days.  In recent news:

In Louisiana, a 4-man home invasion.

In Clemson, S.C., a 4-man home invasion.

In Akron, Ohio, a 4-man home invasion.

In Longwood, Florida, a 2-man home invasion.

In York, Pa., a 3-man home invasion.

In Independence, Mo, an 11-man home invasion leading to three deaths.

In Oklahoma, a 3-man home invasion.

In Knoxville, Tn., a 2-man home invasion.

In Tucson, Arizona, a 3-man home invasion.

In Arkansas, a 3-man home invasion.

In Rockford, Ill, a 3-man home invasion.

In Georgia, a 2-man home invasion.

In Texas, a 2-man home invasion with three family members shot.

In Philadelphia, a 2-man home invasion.

Man beaten and intentionally burned in home invasion in Laurel, Montana.

In N.C., a 2-man home invasion.

In Grantville, Pa., a 4-man home invasion.

In St. Petersburg, a 2-man home invasion.

In Georgia, a 2-man home invasion.

When a violent crime is intended, the criminals are increasingly teaming up into multiple-man crews to perpetrate their evil.  Thanks, but I think I’ll keep my high capacity magazines.

Prior: The Wrong Way To Argue About Assault Weapons

Happy Assault Weapons Ban Sunset Provision Day!

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

On September 13, 1994, the U.S. Congress passed the ridiculous, obscene, ill-conceived, and meddling assault weapons ban.  It had a sunset provision wherein it expired within ten years of passing the law (see also HR 3355).  Enjoy the day as one of the better, more memorable celebrations in America.

I intend to celebrate by enjoying the entertainment and studying the science of the shooting sports, which I have previously defined this way.

While ATF lawyers might disagree, for something to have a “sporting purpose” means nothing more than it can be taken to the range and operated by the owner to his or her entertainment or training.  The shooting skills – whether for official competitions such as IDPA or 3-Gun, or for unofficial activities such as regular range visits for the purpose of betterment at the science of firearms operation – are sports.  All of them.  Period.  This is non-negotiable.  If it is a firearm, it has a sporting purpose.

Here are some of the weapons we will enjoy and study this weekend.  These would all be considered “assault weapons” under the ban.

In the future, Congress is advised to stay out of our business.

Prior:

No One Needs ARs For Self Defense Or Hunting?

Do We Have A Constitutional Right To Own An AR?


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