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The House Bill to Limit Magazines

I’d like to thank the folks who have sent this to me, for being on the ball. I’ve been trying to use the holiday week to make some progress on my home office renovation, and to get ahead of things at work at bit. So here is what House Democrats are proposing:

House Democrats will introduce legislation to ban the production of high-capacity magazines on the first day of the next congressional session, the office of Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), one of the lawmakers sponsoring the bill, told The Huffington Post.

The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act will mirror a failed bill introduced during the 112th Congress. Its authors hope that in the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 first grade students in Newtown, Conn., there will be heightened political urgency to act when it is reintroduced on Jan. 3.

RTWT. I’m actually rather torn between what’s worse: an “assault weapons” ban or a magazine ban. I came into this issue during the 1994 assault weapons ban. It is what “radicalized” me, I guess you could say. I didn’t know much about the true nature of the ban when I first bought, but I had to live under it for the first 3 years of becoming a gun owner. The 1994 had both an “assault weapon” and magazine components, and it’s hard to say which was worse.

My first firearm was a semi-auto AK-47 clone, that I bought right after the New Year in 2000, when the Y2K scare went bust and gun dealers were unloading. That rifle is still in a “pre-ban” configuration. I bought my first AR in 2001, and I had no problem finding a lot of cheap 30 round magazines for it, even then. I bought my current carry piece, a Glock 19, in 2002 during the federal ban. It came with two ten round magazines, even though it was designed to carry 15 rounds. I knew ahead of time that I could buy a “New In Box” 15 round Glock factory magazine for 130 dollars, and soon ordered one. I carried that magazine daily until September 14, 2004, the day the ban lifted. That day I went to the local gun store and bought two “Law Enforcement Restricted” 15 round Glock 19 magazines for 20 dollars each, and which I still include in my rotation. A few days later, I ordered a bird cage flash suppressor, and front gas block with bayonet lug for my AR-15. Why? Because I could, and that was reason enough. I converted my “post-ban” AR-15 into a “no-ban” AR-15, if only to mock the absurdity of it. It was the same rifle, but it would have been a felony to do that just days ago. I also converted my Ruger 10/22 into a “no-ban” configuration, despite the absurdity of that as well.

I do not wish to return to those days. While emotionally, the “assault weapons” part of the 1994 ban pissed me off the most, I have to admit that paying 130 dollars for a single 15 round magazine probably had a more practical impact. The 30 round AK and AR magazines were ubiquitous and cheap during the ban; there were just so many of them out there. Post-ban, the price has only improved modestly, but the quality of magazine has improved. The improvement in magazine quality is mostly in the design of the follower, and it was never illegal to replace those on existing magazines during the ban, so it’s hard to say how that would have evolved if the ban had not sunset.

While the absurdity of banning telescoping stocks (very useful to adjust for differently sized shooters), flash suppressors (not all that useful for us or criminals) and bayonet lugs (not very useful to anyone these days) annoyed me for the stupidity of it all, I think the magazine ban is the greatest threat for the largest number of gun owners. Connecticut still has the federal ban, essentially, and clearly AR-15s could still be had (though without flash suppressors and bayonet lugs).

The magazine ban will affect a very large number of shooters. We have to watch everything closely, because there’s no guarantees every bad bill will look like what came before, we can’t let the media and the politicians spin the magazine ban as some kind of false compromise. Both are just as bad. Both must be resisted fully. A magazine ban is just as bad or worse than not being able to have bayonet lugs and flash suppressors on your carbine (and hell, my carbine, because of the 16″ barrel can’t mount a proper bayonet anyway). You don’t get to claim 100 feet of my property, then draw the line back to 20 feet and claim it’s a compromise. You’re still stealing from me.

32 Responses to “The House Bill to Limit Magazines”

  1. asdf says:

    Let them pass the magazine ban. Then we can sell magazines as “paperweights” like they do with those brass knuckles they banned years ago.

    • That’s an awesome idea.

      Somehow I have a feeling it wouldn’t work, though.

    • Alpheus says:

      This makes me wonder: what would happen if we started to make magazines that could not fit in any known gun, and could not be filled with any known round of ammo? Would the magazine still be banned?

      Is rather not bed in a position where we could find out (although California and Connecticut residents can already try), but looking into the legality of it could be a good step to demonstrate his absurd such a ban is!

  2. Pete says:

    I was in the same boat with my P-13. 13 round mags cost me $75 each during the AWB. The price is $20 from CDNN right now.

  3. yossi says:

    this is my pro gun control friends comment on this when I posted this to FB
    ” This is hilarious. It’s written like a black person or a gay person who feels like someone is infringing on his rights. It’s ironic that the party that rejects the infringement of gun rights does not recognize a reasonable right to equality for gays.”

    • Braden Lynch says:

      Actually homosexuals have exactly the same rights as I do. They can marry one person at a time, of the opposite sex, who is not a close relative, who is of legal age and with the consent of both parties.

      The problem is that the homosexuals don’t like these restrictions and want special treatment and special recognition to put the seal of approval on their behavior. No one is preventing them from being with their partner.

      I would say the polygamists, pedophiles, and those into bestiality or incest are also kept from fulfilling their dreams of marrying the object of their desires. Marriage is a bedrock of society and for the raising of children in the best environment. Anything else is a poor substitute.

      • I didn’t realize that the Libertarian party didn’t recognize equal rights for gays.

        Oh, wait. Never mind.

      • J says:

        Braden,
        No, they do not. They don’t have the same rights as you (a presumably heterosexual person). They are not allowed to enter in to a marriage together. In fact, the government unconstitutionally recognizes some marriages over others. SCOTUS will come to the same conclusion this year, guaranteed. Remember, if straight people have a right to marriage, so do gay people. This is, of course, ignoring the fact that the government should have no more role in marriage than it does in relation to any other kind of contract.
        What is this “behavior” you speak of? Do you mean “being gay?” Do you think gay people really care what you think as long as you leave them the hell alone? Isn’t that how you feel about them? What special treatment do they want? You mean being allowed to marry the person with whom they are in love? I don’t think there are too many homosexuals that seek Braden’s Seal of Approval when they want to get married. Did you ask for homosexuals’ seal of approval before you (again, presumptively) married? Why is it a problem that gay folks want to get married? Seriously, how does that infringe on your rights in any way?
        YOUR concept of marriage is at variance with quote a few others. Why does your concept of marriage carry more weight than say, mine? My fiancée and I have chosen not to have kids. Does that mean our eventual marriage will be meaningless? Further, do you truly believe that two men or two women couldn’t (and don’t routinely) rear very well-behaved, responsible and productive members of society?
        I’ve read your comments on several blogs and generally enjoy them. I hope that you’ll find some way to come to a more reasoned, and less emotional, stance on marriage that doesn’t automatically reject another perspective merely because you do not share it. Because, let’s face it, you don’t have any more facts to support your position than the gun-grabbers do to support theirs.
        I hope that you realize that you sound like a Fudd. “I can’t think of any reason why someone would need 30 rounds in a semi-auto… that’s not how I hunt…” is not a far cry from “I don’t know why gay people want to get married… that’s not how I view marriage…”
        Actually, one more thing. Combined with racist xenophobia, it’s attitudes like yours that have driven an entire generation away from conservative ideals. If you and your ilk want to die on the gay marriage hill, go right ahead. Enjoy being marginalized by history. Mark my words, in two generations the thought that two adults couldn’t get married because they shared the same gender will seem every bit as bizarre and backward as water fountains with “COLORED ONLY” over them.

        Signed,
        A guy that has spent his adult life defending all Americans, not just straight ones

        • Alpheus says:

          I think this is a perfectly fair reply. After all, it is established law that the Federal government can decide who can and can’t get married; indeed, such laws have even been found Constitutional.

          But then again, you are probably one of those people who believe that it’s ok for two gay people to marry, but that it’s not ok for a man, with the permission of his first wife (or wives, as the case may be) to marry another–or for a man to marry only one other man, and not several at a time.

          As for myself…I’m an oddball: I understand why marriage should be limited to man-and-wife-only, but I am far more distressed by the intrusions that government has made into our lives, that make marriage seem so necessary (take visitation in hospital rights: are you telling me that I have to marry my best friend, just for the privilege of visiting him in the hospital?)….

          • Pete says:

            This whole sub-thread is a hijack, but 14th Amendment:

            “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

            Sooner or later, and I believe sooner, gay marriage will be legalized at the Fed level.

          • Ian Argent says:

            Please distinguish (without reference to religious principles) the policy difference that permits 2 opposite-sex people who are previously divorced, surgically sterile, atheist, serial adulterers to marry for tax/inheritance reasons but denies two same-sex people the right to marry for love.
            (I’d expand on Pete’s comment above – it’s the 1st amendment via the 14th amendment)

          • Robert says:

            “I think this is a perfectly fair reply. After all, it is established law that the Federal government can decide who can and can’t get married; indeed, such laws have even been found Constitutional.”

            You mean like those laws that said Blacks & Whites couldn’t get married?

    • Bondurant says:

      I hope this reply was left for your friends:

      “You are dumb and beyond ignorant.”

      Something along that line. From time to time I feel the desire to rile up my liberal finds by posting about guns or economics. It’s great to watch them sink in their own hyperbole ridden fantasies.

  4. jeremys says:

    As I recently moved to a free state (NC) from CA, I do not own a “high cap”… I placed an order for 20x30rnd AR15 mags and 20x20rnd M1A mags this weekend. What they want is what I buy. I just hope they don’t go after 50BMG rifles – more than I can afford even on a panic buy.

  5. Jesse says:

    A magazine ban would eventually kill USPSA. As it is now USPSA shooters shoot a lot fo their gear gets busted up quite a bit. Those guys in open division with double stack 1911 mags that hold 24 40S&W rounds are already $100 a mag. If they can’t make them anymore they will go up to a stupid expensive price and then in a decade or two without any new ones being made they will simply cease to be.

  6. Patrick H says:

    Yeah I really don’t know what is worse. On my 16″ I use a BLAM for a Streamlight, which I love (can’t stand railed handguards). The telescoping stock is nice too. The flash suppressor just looks good (and it does work for some ammo).

    But the mag ban I think would be worse. I remember being pissed for paying so much for a metal box, spring, and plastic piece.

    The thing is, I actually think a mag ban will be harder to pass, because it affects more than just “AW” guns- it affects handguns as well. With so many CCW license holders out there, hopefully my theory is true.

  7. Brad says:

    If those idiots do manage to get a new ban in place, I hope some industrious manufacturer out there starts making a .35 Whelen caliber clip-fed rifle, like a modified M-1 semi-auto. Just because it would be the most powerful and fastest shooting rifle that would still comply with the new stupid legal restrictions!

  8. Brad says:

    Remember, any firearm using detachable magazines limited to 10 rounds should be called a Feinstein Special. Just like the Feinstein Special that Eric Harris used to shoot up the high-school at Columbine in 1999.

  9. Drifter says:

    You guys did catch that this bill contains a transfer ban, right?

  10. George says:

    I think this is the worst threat. Gun owners won’t accept a ban, but I can see demands for “compromise” on this issue.

  11. Matt Rogers says:

    Interesting. I think that this bill probably gets introduced every Congress doesn’t it?

    I wrote Rep. Huizenga of Michigan, and told him to say “no” to this bill, and re-sponsor the National Concealed Carry bill….

    –Matt

  12. Matt Rogers says:

    I like compromise, too. We chould get the national concealed carry, and limit the size of a magazine to no more than it will hold as it comes from the factory in its standard and legal configuration, and that we are unable to acquiesce to their request for setting a federal standard for the factory configuration of a magazine. This seems a good compromise to me.

    Write those congress-people and tell them you want the National Concealed Carry bill passed.

    –Matt

  13. DevsAdvocate says:

    This is so friggin stupid. Why 10? Why not 15? Or 17? Where is the empirical analysis? What is the logical rationale?

    Ugh.

    • Harold says:

      Because Bloomberg or Cuomo’s preferred 2-3 is too far for now? Because 10 is well established in the previous bans? Because 10 limits the pain for handgun owners, especially if they use .45 ACP (not that they’re thinking this, just that that’s one way we adopted and therefore made less of a fuss).

  14. yossi says:

    I think that if any magazine ban comes up for debate pro gun politicians should offer amendments limiting the amount of words that blog posts and op-eds can have.

  15. Harold says:

    As I’ve noted elsewhere, a 10 round magazine limit puts a serious crimp on future gun design; in general the gun grabbers want everything now, but are willing to play a long game, the “good first step” they talk about after something is passed etc.

  16. J says:

    My response to this bill is not quite as succinct as General McAuliffe’s, but awfully close.

    “Representative, go to hell. Molon Labe.”

  17. Matt Rogers says:

    I agree:

    “Nuts”

    –Matt

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