It’s official: Anti-gun Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., has introduced a bill outlawing normal-capacity firearm magazines used in many common semi-automatic pistols and rifles.
House Resolution 4052, introduced late last week, would ban what Esty calls “large capacity ammunition feeding devices”—what many in the gun-ban movement refer to as “high-capacity” magazines.
According to the bill’s language, the measure would ban any “magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” Apparently, the sole exception would be tube-fed .22 rimfire rifles. Even mere possession of outlawed magazines would be prohibited by the legislation.
According to the bill’s language, the measure would ban any “magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”The bill does contain a grandfather clause that would supposedly exclude “possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment.” But such a determination could prove nearly impossible, as the grandfather clause further states: “A large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of the enactment of this sentence shall be identified by a serial number that clearly shows that the device was manufactured after such date of enactment, and such other identification as the Attorney General may by regulation prescribe.”
As NRA-ILA pointed out in a recent update, “The simple possession of a non-conforming magazine would be presumptive evidence of its criminality, and because many magazines are not date-stamped or serialized, owners would have few options to substantiate eligibility for this ‘affirmative defense.’ This could lead to arrests and confiscations even for lawfully possessed magazines, with the only recourse by the accused to ‘tell it to the judge.’”
Most A1F Daily readers already know that what anti-gun activists refer to as “high-capacity” magazines are simply standard magazines that are sold along with hundreds of different models of firearms. For instance, the popular Glock 17 includes a standard, 17-round magazine, while the company’s G19 comes standard with a 15-round magazine. Similarly, Smith & Wesson’s popular full-size M&P 9 comes standard with a 17-round magazine. And AR-15 type rifles—the most popular rifle in the United States, owned by millions of law-abiding gun owners—come standard with 30-round magazines. The law would even affect many popular magazine-fed .22 rifles, including the venerable Ruger 10/22.
Of course, one of the main problems with the legislation is the fact that such bans only affect law-abiding gun owners, since criminals, by their very nature, don’t follow gun laws. As NRA-ILA concluded, “It’s pure fantasy on Esty’s part to believe that yet another form of gun control will have an impact on violent crime in America. We’ve been down this road before, and we know gun control doesn’t work. Restricting the rights of the law-abiding does only that, and has no impact on what violent criminals or deranged madmen will or will not do.”
Gun-ban advocates have been trying to ban such magazines for years, and have managed to do so in states like California and Massachusetts. To fight off this latest attempt, America’s gun owners must speak out with the truth about regular capacity magazines, and let their federal legislators know that they are against such a useless restriction.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.