The Second Amendment Foundation and the Connecticut Citizens Defense League are suing Connecticut law enforcement officials in federal court over the state’s ban on magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition and the prohibition against loading more than 10 cartridges into so-called “high-capacity magazines.”
“This law does nothing more than penalize law-abiding citizens while criminalizing components of handguns they own that were previously legal,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said in a statement. “This is a text book example of turning honest citizens into criminals by the mere stroke of a pen by the governor.
“Original capacity magazines are not dangerous or unusual,” he continued. “They’re in common use all over the country. But the Connecticut law makes it illegal to use such magazines, which amounts to a deprivation of rights under federal law. Neither SAF nor our partners at CCDL could stand by and allow that to happen.”
Attorney David Jensen is representing two individual plaintiffs, Connecticut residents Susan Ross and Domenic Basile. Both women are legally licensed to carry handguns, but their firearms use magazines holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition. They “justifiably worry that they could be prosecuted for carrying fully-loaded defensive sidearms under the state law,” according to the SAF.
The suit alleges that the 10-round limit infringes on the plaintiffs’ Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Since magazines holding more than 10 rounds are in “common use for lawful purposes,” firearms holding more than 10 rounds are therefore neither dangerous nor unusual.
In addition, according to the suit, greater ammunition capacity provides a better defense against would-be attackers.
“A person with 15 rounds of ammunition available will be better able to defend himself or herself from a criminal gang, or from a drug-crazed criminal who continues attacking even after being shot, than a person who has only 10 rounds of ammunition available before they must reload their gun,” the suit reads. “A person with a disability or who has been injured by a violent attacker may be unable to reload his or her firearm, and thus, the statutory 10-round magazine loading limit can severely compromise such a person’s ability to defend himself or herself.”
Connecticut instituted a magazine ban following the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary. Magazines owned before the law took effect could still be possessed, but users are only allowed to load 10 rounds, even if the magazine can hold more.
Jensen said in a statement that the law “severely limits the right to self-defense, while doing nothing to prevent future tragedies.”
“Nothing is more emblematic of this than the State’s requirement that lawful gun owners load their legally owned magazines to less than their full capacity as a means of supposedly inhibiting future mass murders,” he continued. “We are pleased to help get this ridiculous restriction off the books.”