There has been a lot of debate recently about whether or not high capacity magazines should be banned. Many lawmakers claim that high capacity magazines are responsible for the disproportionately high level of victims when mass shootings take place.
The first problem that comes with banning these “High Capacity Magazines” is that there is no clear distinction between what a standard capacity and high capacity are. The arbitrary number ten has been put in place to fill this void, but makes little sense when you look at how firearms are made. Most modern handguns and rifles are designed to operate with a magazine holding somewhere between 15 and 30 rounds of ammunition. So a ten round limit would already place the majority of magazines on the market in the red zone. Let’s mention a few examples. A 9mm Glock 17 has a standard magazine of 17 rounds. The standard I’m using is in reference to what comes with the gun when it is purchased new in store. An AR-15 comes standard with one to three thirty round magazines. An AK variant rifle is the same. These are not high capacity magazines, they are standard capacity magazines that come with the firearm at the date of purchase.
Now let’s talk about why a ban will not work. Here is a quote directly from the study. “In 1997, a gunman in Orange, California, fired nearly 150 shots, wielding an AK-47 with a 30-round magazine three years after a federal law banned such assault weapons.” What is extremely sad about this quote is that it effectively admits that a magazine capacity ban will not work. The federal law being mentioned is the Assault Weapons ban of 1994. This federal law also set a maximum capacity of ten rounds on detachable magazines. So not only did the law fail to prevent a criminal from getting a banned firearm, it also failed to prevent him from getting a high capacity magazine. It truly is a shocker when criminals don’t follow the law.
A ban on magazine capacity id completely unrealistic. Almost entirely due to the fact that there is such a high level of proliferation throughout the country. There are at least 2 million AR-15’s alone in the US. That means there are even more magazines. Assuming that each rifle came with three or the owner bought an equal number that puts 6 million standard capacity magazines on the market alone. Then there are the lower and higher capacity magazines that would bring that number up even higher. It is just unfeasible to impose a limit in the number of rounds a magazine can hold when there are so many millions of higher capacity variants available.