D.C. Police Chief Blames High Murder Rate On ‘Much More Lethal’ High-Capacity Magazines

The murder rate in D.C. is reaching epic proportions, and according to the city’s mayor and police chief, it’s all because of high-capacity magazines.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier are pointing to high-capacity magazines as the culprit for the city’s rising murder rates. But the police chief was unable to verifiably back up her claims when local reporter and Second Amendment proponent Emily Miller called her out.

“In D.C., over ten rounds is high-capacity, but your department doesn’t trace what kind of magazine size guns have,” said Miller. “I’m asking when you say high-capacity, where are you getting that information?”

“From the guns that we’ve recovered,” said Lanier.

But the department doesn’t actually track the magazine size of weapons seized during an arrest, nor does it account for how many rounds remained in the high-capacity magazines once they were in police control, leading many to wonder if the chief is being completely transparent.

Chief Lanier continued to make unusual claims about high-capacity magazines, like that they make the ammunition somehow more lethal.

“Multiple of our cases have high-capacity magazines and multiple rounds fired making the shots fired much more lethal,” said Lanier.

She also made questionable comments on the legal definition of high-capacity magazines.

“High-capacity magazines are magazines that are designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm,” said Lanier.

Not exactly. High-capacity magazines are defined as any magazine capable of carrying more than 10 rounds. In many instances, 17+1 magazines in a handgun are the “normal capacity,” and the plugs inserted into the magazines to reduce the maximum capacity are aftermarket parts meant to bring the magazines into compliance.

Miller has pledged to continue asking the chief for hard statistics on the murder crisis in D.C.

A transcript of the exchange, courtesy of Miller’s FB page:

Miller: Chief, what data are you using to determine high-capacity magazines? You’re referred to them several times.
Lanier: So I’m talking about 100 round drum magazines. That would be high capacity.
Miller: But what are you using? what data?
Lanier: Well 100 round drum magazines.
Miller: How many have you found of those?
Lanier: Extended clips that are designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm.
Miller: How many of those have you found?
Lanier: So high-capacity magazines are magazines designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm.
Miller: Well in D.C., over 10 rounds is “high capacity,” but your department doesn’t trace what kind of magazine size a gun has. So I’m saying, when you say “high capacity,” where are you getting that information?
Lanier: From the guns that we recover.

There have been 103 people killed so far this year in Washington, which is a 43 percent increase over 2014.

(This article was submitted by freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Jeff June 4, 2018, 5:00 pm

    DC cops couldn’t do didly squat to curb all the gun violence back in 1988 – 1995. Several years during this time frame had murder totals in excess of 600 people. What’s the difference between then and now? Not a dang thing! The size of the mag was/is totally irrelevant. While I lived in that area during those years, many times there were shootouts between drug dealers. The preferred choice of gun? Mac 10, Uzi, MP 5 or anything else that put out a high volume of bullets. There were even gun battles within only a few blocks from the capital building. Total freaking insanity. And guess what: none of those guns were legal. So if the DC cops couldn’t figure it out then, I seriously doubt they’ll be able to figure it out now. About the only thing they can think of is how warm and cozy the feel with their heads shoved up their 4th point of contact.

  • loupgarous April 29, 2018, 6:41 pm

    Big city police chiefs decide the laws they want to push for at conventions. Actual facts don’t enter into these discussions, and neither do the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting stats, the only reliable data published by the Federal government on the number of murders and assaults committed with guns.

    With a very few exceptions, you can safely regard what a big city police chief has to say on the subject of guns as a lie.

  • ejharb February 18, 2018, 11:02 am

    I seldom,very seldom agree with statists on anything.but,I see where he’s coming from.used to be the most popular criminal weapon was a raven p25,a pot metal semiauto pistol holding 7 rounds of 25acp.now it seems like most are carrying.9mm autos of greater reliability hold up to 18 rounds.
    I know what I’d rather have thumping my vest!

  • David Yarbrough February 17, 2018, 10:17 pm

    You cannot be serious! To say a shot fired from a 10round capacity magazine is any less or more lethal than one fired from a 15 rnd mag is without a doubt the most ignorant statement I have ever heard of.

  • John February 8, 2018, 9:08 am

    That chief can’t even answer a question straight up! You know when you have a true politician, they answer a question with a question or they answer with a diversion, or they won’t answer in writing. Back in 1966 we had hats we used when hunting that said when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns, yes 66 before the federal registration. That is was is happening today. In those days we didn’t have presidents that would open our borders to countries like Cuba that said you want our refugees, cool let’s empty our prisons the US will take them feed them, give them healthcare and support them while they roam the streets of Miami, causing a ten fold increase in the police force. These politicians just do what is popular to get elected by a mostly brainwashed society. I have watched our country go downhill for the las 45 years. Those people like that police chief are over payed, retired early for life on the taxpayers dollar, but don’t work for the taxpayer.

  • Ray Narvaez August 14, 2017, 1:26 pm

    If Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s math were close to being TRUE? why isn’t the murder rate higher in Tucson where there is NO capacity limit on our magazines and we are a CONSTITUTIOAL CARRY State?

  • Michael Crain December 10, 2016, 10:35 pm

    Sounds to me like they need a new police chief. One that actually knows things about weapons, guns, etc. and how they are used. Does she carry a gun?

  • Jim November 18, 2016, 5:57 am

    I remember the movie when T. Hanks said ” Stupid is as Stupid does ! ” This reflects perfectly for the D C mayor & police chief. They have their agenda & will say anything to back it up regardless of the facts.

  • JGinNJ November 20, 2015, 6:04 am

    Blaming a high rate of murders or other crime on the color of a person’s skin makes as much sense as blaming it on high capacity magazines.

  • Mac Hayes September 2, 2015, 1:22 am

    I blame writers like Blannelberry who make ridiculously mild understatements such as “leading many to wonder if the chief is being completely transparent” to describe the wildly overstated comments of politicians, Anybody with a lick of sense would demand the chief answer the question fully, rather than beating around the bush:

    Miller: How many have you found of those?
    Lanier: Extended clips that are designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm.
    Miller: How many of those have you found?
    Lanier: So high-capacity magazines are magazines designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm.

    Lanier must be discredited for not having evidence for the statement that “it’s all because of high-capacity magazines.”

  • steve September 1, 2015, 1:46 am

    a far better statistic would not be how many “high capacity” magazines you recover, but how many ROUNDS are fired by these people. if it is less than ten(which i can’t help but think is the VAST majority, especially in light of that old saying that most gun fights occur at a distance of about 3 feet, last about 3 seconds, and fire about 3 shots) then she has no ground to stand on, and no place to be blaming “high capacity” magazines.
    as for her comment that “high capacity” magazines are those designed to increase the “normal” capacity of a gun, i would ask her how many rounds her service gun carries, and where she got the “special magazines” to hold more rounds from. or did they come with the gun, because that is the same capacity the manufacturer has always made the magazines, based on the size of the grip, and is the same number that is sold in every gun shop in the country. if anything, what she wants is to make people have access to only LOW capacity magazines, meaning magazines that have been specifically altered to hold LESS than the normal, designed capacity of that firearm.

  • Larry August 31, 2015, 10:45 pm

    WOW!!! Just think what the murder rate would be if D.C. if they didn’t have all of those gun restrictions and gun control laws in place. “WHEN GUNS ARE OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS”. Looks like D.C. is just full of criminals that can take at will whatever they desire.

  • Larry August 31, 2015, 10:40 pm

    WOW!!! Just think what the murder rate would be if D.C. didn’t have all those gun restrictions and gun control laws. I’m still wondering how many 100 round drum magazines they have recovered. “WHEN GUNS ARE OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS”. You can take that to the bank.

  • Gus August 31, 2015, 7:21 pm

    Maybe they ought to take away cars and trucks. The cars go faster and the trucks get bigger. Some folks are just reckless behind the wheel. Large capacity magazines my be fat Italian rear end!! The politicians have their heads where the son doesn’t shine. They are just trying to win votes from the anti gunners. No law abiding gun owning citizen has any intention of committing the crimes they talk about regardless of the size of the magazines they own.
    No criminal will wait 120 days to get a Conceal Carry Permit like I did in the land of Stinkin Lincoln. They will get the guns anyway they can and continue to committ crimes. Don’t put the pressure on the law abiding citzen. We are not the ones committing the crimes.

  • James August 31, 2015, 2:08 pm

    OMG, a police chief who lied and could not get facts straight or even documented. What next.
    Seems to me I remember ” If it ain’t in writing, it doesn’t exist.”
    So this chief just makes up a story or information as they go along.
    Since she is the leader of the department, how many of her officers take her view point and “fabricate” evidence, oops excuse me, facts and information.

  • Methadras August 31, 2015, 12:43 pm

    This is typical spaghetti meets wall ideology at work here. Make anything up, say anything you can, create as much histrionic and hyperbole as possible and see what sticks.

  • Larry August 31, 2015, 12:05 pm

    When I criticized this moron chief a couple years ago on another site, “Snuffy”, a retired DC cop, tried to take me to task. At that point, after several exchanges back & forth, we learned that dear old Snuffy had no idea what the US Constitution said in regards to the Second Amendment. He thought that DC had every right to demand that the citizen prove a real need to carry concealed in DC & that the chief had every right to reject anyone’s request for a CC permit. At the time, she was rejecting nearly every request presented to her.
    I wonder if Snuffy is still out there & would like to respond to any of out comments to this article so far. You out there, Snuffy & have you “edufacated” yourself on the Constituion yet?

  • dave August 31, 2015, 11:04 am

    Lanier has been fighting gun rights since she can’t remember when. So OF COURSE she is still waving that torn banner. And since the PD does not track magazine capacity, if she isn’t lying about the increased magazine capacity, it’s only truth by accident. Telling such a transparent lie to a reporter known to be a terrier about, and more knowledgeable than she (Lanier) is, gun rights is just proof of total stupidity on the part of the Chief.

  • Edward Rambo August 31, 2015, 10:30 am

    My God, where did they dig up this BRAIN DEAD MORON? She hasn’t a clue about guns or magazines or ammunition in any way, shape, or form, and a mag has nothing to do with accuracy if you don’t know how to aim and shoot you would be lucky to hit anyone, this Idiot even makes Forest Gump look like a Genius, and she’s the Chief of Police? know wonder there Police Force has so much trouble.

  • Onthe Wall August 31, 2015, 9:38 am

    FACT taken directly from the New York City Police Department internet site, statistics of all violent crimes broken down by type of crime and then by race. When you take all the numbers from all the violent crimes add them together and keep them separated by only race this is what you get. Between 87% and 93% of all violent crimes in New York City are committed by blacks and/or hispanics. PERIOD!

    • Lester August 4, 2017, 8:26 am

      Ya better be careful,,you may get branded a racist for stating facts and figures. LOL !

      I’m X-law enforcement and the norm from my experience is standard capacity magazines are normally used. Plus most firearms used are normally are not going to be some dolled up gun with high cap mags and most are more likely to be some stolen Saturday night special with 100 bucks on some outlandish capacity magazine.

      I’ll bet you look in most any evidence locker and you’ll find the majority of firearms there are things like a 22 Sterling’s, Lorcin’s, High Points and the like. That’s been my experience anyways.

      Just another DC idiot lib that just won’t face facts.

      As for myself I’d really like to see more honest, well trained citizens, and veterans armed and able to protect themselves and back me up if needed. The old adage ” when moments count, the police are only minutes away” could not be more true, we could never be in all places at once, no matter what.

      This particular Chief is just plain wrong and I’ll be the first to say so.

  • Carl August 31, 2015, 9:35 am

    If black lives matter so much, how come most of the black lives lost are caused by blacks?

  • Ram6 August 31, 2015, 9:31 am

    How did this woman get to be the Chief of Police for D.C.? She obviously doesn’t understand that it only takes one bullet to kill someone. How a “high capaxity magazine” can account for an unusually high murder rate doesn’t make any sense. Her comment that the high capacity (in D.C. that’s anything over 10 rounds) makes the bullets more lethal makes no sense whatsoever. If someone is shot and dies from one bullet or two makes no difference you are just as dead and if she’s saying that being hit by 30 bullets instead of 10 makes it more likely you will die then she doesn’t understand what even one bullet can do. I say again, How did this woman get to be the Chief of Police for D.C.?

    • Dr motown September 3, 2015, 7:41 pm

      A libtard female in an affirmative-action Dumbocrat town, that’s how…

  • Hugo Stiglitz August 31, 2015, 8:59 am

    She sounds like an imbecile.

  • kirinkov545 August 31, 2015, 8:50 am

    To a anti-gun moron a Thomp Center Contender single shot is a “high capacity assault weapon”.

    • Scotty Gunn August 31, 2015, 2:03 pm

      Well, yea. of course. Especially if you have one chambered in 5.56 and put one of those “cop killer” green tips in there. Gasp.

  • Steven August 31, 2015, 8:46 am

    Cathy Lanier, Stephanie Rawlings , Hitlary Clinton (to name a few), are prime examples of what/will happens when you let a woman ru(i)n things.

  • hippybiker August 31, 2015, 8:42 am

    Anyone remember when old man Bush showed how easy it was ti purchase Crack Cocaine across the street from the White House? Drugs are the big problem in DC-not guns.

  • Mike the Limey August 31, 2015, 8:05 am

    To those opposed to citizens’ freedom such as Chief Lanier, anything over a single shot firearm is “high capacity”.

    They care nothing for truth or freedom, only for total control of the people.

  • Joe August 31, 2015, 7:37 am

    The high murder rate in Washington DC is directly related to the fact that between the hours of six pm and six am the population is ninety eight percent black.

    • dr motown September 3, 2015, 7:38 pm

      So true!

  • john lalman August 31, 2015, 6:31 am

    but everyone knows the dee cee police chief is a idiot

    • e holder August 31, 2015, 7:52 am

      ….and a dem, but that is just being repetitive…..

  • DRAINO August 27, 2015, 8:31 am

    That’s a typical answer from a politician. That’s what happens when politicians get public safety jobs…..finger pointing AT THE WRONG ISSUES. It doesn’t help matters that these are likely democrap politicians ( I am guessing, but I’ll take this risk). [Insert deductive reasoning here]: Seems interesting that Detroit’s top cop is encouraging citizens to arm themselves for self protection (vs. complaining about magazine capacity)……and wouldn’t you know it…..crime rate is dropping there!! WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK’ IT?! And….crime rate is RISING in DC???? Where few people even own guns, let alone carry concealed legally…???? Things that make you go, Hmmmm? Just can’t make this dumb stuff up.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend