5 irrefutable reasons banning ‘high-cap’ magazines defies common sense

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There’s a growing movement in the gun-control community that wants to see other states follow the lead of New York, California, Connecticut, among others, and ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The logic behind the argument is that banning 10-plus round magazines will save lives, potentially taking the “mass” out of “mass shooter.”

Unfortunately, advocates of this policy lack the knowledge and reason to see why prohibiting law-abiding citizens from possessing these commonly owned and widely popular magazines would do nothing to curb gun-related violence or prevent mass shootings.

So, in an effort to educate these folks, here are five irrefutable reasons why banning so-called “high-capacity” magazines makes absolutely zero sense:

1. Circulation

There are millions and millions of 10-plus round magazines currently in circulation. Suppose a ban went into effect. Short of going door-to-door and rounding up all these of magazines, they would still be readily available to criminals and sociopaths via theft, the black market or friends, family who lawfully possess them.

So, unless the government is willing to confiscate the magazines now in the hands of law-abiding gun owners, banning them will not have an effect.

But this is not my argument, but the one of Greg Ridgeway, the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice, an independent research arm of the Department of Justice.

In his “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies,” published on Jan. 4, 2013, Ridgeway wrote the following:

The 1994 ban on large capacity magazines had limited effectiveness because 1) Large capacity clips are a durable good 2) There were an estimated 25 million guns with large capacity magazines in 1995 3) The 1994 law exempted magazines manufactured before 1994 so that the importation of large capacity magazines manufactured overseas before 1994 continued through the ban 4) while the price of the clips increased dramatically (80 percent during the ban) they were not unaffordable. A 2004 study of the 1994 law found: “because the ban has not yet reduced the use of [large capacity magazines] in crime, we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.” The 1994 ban essentially did little to affect the supply of large capacity magazines.

In order to have an impact, large capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail their availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession. An exemption for previously owned magazines would nearly eliminate any impact. The program would need to be coupled with an extensive buyback of existing large capacity magazines. With an exemption the impact of the restrictions would only be felt when the magazines degrade or when they no longer are compatible with guns in circulation. This would take decades to realize.

2. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s slippery slope

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill last week that would have lowered the state’s magazine capacity limit from 15 rounds down to 10.

Following the veto, Christie came under fire from gun-control advocates for nixing the bill, specifically from the family of one of the first graders fatally wounded during the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

In responding to the criticism, the Republican governor challenged the logic of their argument.

“Why 10? Why not 6? Why not 2? Why not 1? Why not zero? Why not just ban guns completely?” said a visibly passionated Christie,”The logical conclusion of their argument is that you get to zero eventually.”

Indeed. If it’s the inanimate object that is the causal force behind the rampage, why not just ban them altogether. But while we’re at it, we mine as well ban rope, hammers, all cutlery, cars, alcohol, among the millions of other objects people use to perpetrate violence.

3. Multiple guns

In hearing the arguments for banning so-called “high-capacity magazines,” one of the recurring themes is that the ban has the potential to take the “mass” out of “mass shooter.”

While it’s true that mass shooters have equipped themselves with magazines holding more than 10 rounds, it’s also true that many have multiple firearms with them, revealing that they are prepared to drop one weapon and grab another should the firearm malfunction or should they face resistance.

Elliot Rodger, the deranged Isla Vista spree killer, wrote about this in his manifesto, saying, “First, I needed to buy a third handgun, just in case one of them jams.”

Mass shooters may be crazy, but some of them aren’t stupid. Ban 10-plus round magazines, and they can just carry multiple firearms.

4. The argument for the ban is the argument against the ban

Fact: Good guys use guns to stop bad guys more often than bad guys use guns to victimize good guys.

According to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

If one is willing to accept this fact, then why would one want to hinder one’s ability to protect oneself, one’s family or one’s property?

If a mass shooter is more deadly with a 10-plus round magazine, then by the same logic a good guy with a gun protecting his family from multiple home invaders is more deadly and better equipped to eliminate the threat.

Thankfully, there are more good guys in the world than bad guys. Ergo, why prohibit an accessory that has the capacity [forgive the pun] to save lives?

This is an argument that gun-control advocate are unwilling to acknowledge, mainly because they view firearms as only a force for evil in the world. They rarely acknowledge that guns are more often than not a means to help good guys keep evil in check.

Banning “high-capacity” magazines will only mar the self-defense postures of law-abiding citizens. It will not, in any way, stop bad people from doing bad things.

5. Easy to produce

A plastic box and some springs, that’s really all a magazine is. Given this, anyone with half a brain can assemble one or at least take an existing one and modify it so that it holds more ammunition.

Not only that, 3D printers have made the manufacturing of “high-capacity” magazines a household enterprise (see video):

At the end of the day, the genie is out of the bottle when it comes to 10-plus round magazines (and firearms for that matter). Criminals know they exist. They know they’re widely available. And they know they’re relatively easy to produce with today’s technology.

Congress or state legislatures can enact whatever bans they want, but they can’t put that genie back in the bottle.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • jd May 28, 2017, 1:57 am

    I have the solution to “high Capacity” magazines!!! Pass a law that only criminals are limited to 7 shot mags. law abiding citizens can have what they want. As soon as the criminals read the new law the problem will be solved-won’t it? After all the criminals are expected to obey our laws also-right? That should work. Might as well pass some laws on illegal drugs while we are at. Maybe some laws are other forms of violence. How stupid could society be? We only needed to pass laws on this stuff and the criminals would stop their activities and obey any new laws. Why did we wait so long to stop all violence against innocents and ban illegal drugs?

  • Jonathon Doezinski July 23, 2014, 11:49 am

    Yesterday on the news they said, ? congressman is trying to put out a bill banning printed guns. Of course.

  • Russ July 22, 2014, 5:31 pm

    Thank You S.H. Blannelberry for reason # 4
    Banning “high-capacity” magazines will only mar the self-defense postures of law-abiding citizens. It will not, in any way, stop bad people from doing bad things.

    This is exactly what I think of when loading my 10 round mags here in California.
    I want to have what ever capacity I feel I need at any given time.
    There may be a gang of guys trying to home invade me.
    1 crowbar gets them in the door and they may all have guns, so how big should my mags be?

    So I keep all my mags filled and all my firearms ready to operate, and have trained to change them rapidly.
    Born and raised here 55 yrs, I now F#$%!NG hate it here and may move to another state that still has Liberty & Freedom.

    As soon as our Domestic Terrorist is out of office, if America and California don’t change, I’ll be moving to a safer place.

    I like to pass this video around to the misinformed, maybe you guys can too.
    Grab some popcorn and turn it up. –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5ELyG9V1SY

    PS since you mentioned “mass shootings” I thought you may want to ponder this Sandy Hook School Board meeting. Our problems are deep. –>
    Wolfgang Halbig Confronts Newtown Board Of Education (Part 1)

    • Russ July 22, 2014, 8:23 pm

      Couldn’t get it linked, sorry, here it is; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2E_KfcQOhc

    • dink winkerson July 23, 2014, 12:38 pm

      Don’t doubt our government had something to do with Sandy Hook BUT Wolfgang Halbig is just a donation button looking for a cause.

  • DaveGinOly July 22, 2014, 4:35 pm

    Comment to reason #1:
    Lex neminem cogit ad vana seu inutilia peragenda.
    The law requires no one to do vain or useless things.

    Comment to reason #2:
    Limits to magazine capacities are arbitrary, and therefore unconstitutional.
    The fact that different states have proposed or enacted different limits (7, 10, 15, etc.) on magazine capacity should be sufficient to demonstrate that at least some of them are arbitrary. If it were possible to determine a “correct” limit to magazine capacity for public safety purposes, only one value could be the “correct” limit, therefore the others must be arbitrary. Because it is impossible to determine, which, if any, magazine capacity limit was determined other than arbitrarily, all of them are equally arbitrary. (Whatever the decision-making processes were behind the various limits, they came to different conclusions, conclusively demonstrating their arbitrary nature. If the numbers aren’t arbitrary, the processes should have led to the same “correct” magazine limit. For instance, legislatures in several states considering the outcome of 2+2 should all arrive at “4”; any other values would be arbitrary because there would be no logical reason to come to any other conclusion. The fact that different states have come to different conclusions concerning magazine capacity limits shows that there’s something amiss with the processes that led to the conclusions, and that the conclusions themselves are flawed.)
    Constitutions were adopted in this country, in part, to avoid the tyranny of arbitrary government. Legislation that is either arbitrary in its language or in its effect is arbitrary and therefore unconstitutional.

    Comment to reason #3:
    Not only have mass shooters been known to carry multiple firearms, but they have also been known to carry high-capacity magazines that they did not bother to empty during their assaults. For instance, the shooter at Sandy Hook allegedly performed “tactical reloads,” replacing partially-expended magazines with full magazines before going on to his next set of victims. This demonstrates two things – first, that high-capacity magazines are not necessary to carry out a mass shooting (the shooter at Sandy Hook did not empty all of his magazines – i.e., he used fewer rounds per magazine than they were capable of holding, and second, that one of the reasons put forth to promote magazine limits – to provide the victims with an opportunity to rush the assailant while he is changing magazines – often fails in real-world situations. The Sandy Hook shooter changed magazines when it was not strictly necessary for him to do so, yet this did not provide his victims with an opportunity to disarm him.

  • Cougar30 July 22, 2014, 2:59 pm

    The bottom line is this. Has outlawing anything, ever, made that thing inaccessible to those who didn’t intend to obey the law to begin with. (Think prohibition) FBI statistics prove that more people are killed every year with knives, clubs and other non-firearm methods than by all the so-called assault weapons with their high-capacity magazines. Every tyrannical government from the beginning of time has disarmed its citizenry. Our forefathers were wise in establishing the right to keep and bear arms.

  • Roger July 22, 2014, 7:07 am

    Bus, train and plane accidents cause more deaths in one instance than any deranged person in a school or mall. So why do they not cry to limit the capacity of those means of transportation? The world can be an unsafe place, that’s life sometimes. Get over it, and try to get along with one another, instead of imposing your opinions on others, as if you are right and everyone else is wrong.

  • MrApple July 15, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Elliot Rodger on top of having three legally purchased handguns also had 41 CA approved 10 round magazines. “Crazy” will find a way.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-California/2014/05/24/Santa-Barbara-Sheriff-All-Guns-Legally-Purchased-Gunman-Used-10-Round-Magazines

  • Tim gray July 15, 2014, 7:21 pm

    These arguments against the ban represent everything someone in a corner might present. They are defensive in their origin, and as I see it-extremely weak! Why can’t the argument be-we, law abiding citizens enjoy our high capacity magazines, period. I shouldn’t have to present any other reason to defend my constitutional RIGHT. Let’s look at the facts. Our right to these high capacity magazines is lawful, and as such, we should defend it from that position. Not grovel with those that would remove our rights. What are we going to do next? Ask pretty please? Can we keep our constitutional rights?

    • Russ July 22, 2014, 4:55 pm

      Ya you just might.
      The writers common sense statements need to get out to the remaining states that don’t have the laws we’ve been imposed with here in California.
      Don’t think for a minute that your state can’t get over run by misinformed socialist politicians like mine did.
      Get the word out, because after they ruin the coastal states, your next.

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