8 months 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.