Bob Levy on Gun Control

Over at CNN. I’m guessing he wants to set the record straight after his statement about the magazine bans being constitutional. I am hoping he’s seen how quick our opponents pounce on such statements and use it against gun rights as a whole. It’s quite possible that Bob Levy was meaning to say that the Federal Courts would likely uphold magazine restrictions. I believe this is true, but not because that’s the right decision and is in line with Heller, but because many federal judges will impose their policy preferences in favor of serious analysis as to whether magazines with more than ten rounds are in “common use,” which they most decidedly are.

Let’s just take a look at numbers from 2008. ATF keeps statistics on guns manufactured.

  • Glock made approximately 71,000 pistols. Nearly all their models save a few hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. I believe Glock imports are large portion of their guns as well, which are not included in these statistics.
  • Sturm and Ruger made 68,272 pistols in non pocket pistol calibers. Their most popular pistol in these calibers? The SR-9. Capacity? 17 rounds.
  • Smith & Wesson manufactured 261,115 pistols in non pocket calibers. Most of these are M&P line, which have capacities higher than ten.
  • Sig Sauer manufactured 123,756 pistols, and most of their pistols lines also have capacities higher than ten rounds.

This represents a significant chunk of total manufacturing, which is 1.4 million units, compared with less than half a million units for revolvers, and 1.6 million units for rifles. So by any standard, the civilian population chooses guns with magazines in excess of ten rounds. These are undisputedly in “common use,” and should be protected under the Heller standard. That’s probably why high-cap mag bans don’t pass 50% among gun owning households, because they are common. I suspect that number would drop if you mentioned an 11 round magazine is high-capacity under the proposed standard.

12 thoughts on “Bob Levy on Gun Control”

  1. Springfield XD. I think they all hold over ten and they are imports from Croatia. They were hot sellers for a time

  2. Also just as a heads up, I’m starting to hear the anti-rights people constantly reference 30 and 33 round magazine when pushing laws that ban anything over 10. Where have we seen this before?

    “Assault weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons –anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun– can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

  3. Stay tuned for an argument that Heller only protected _guns_ in common use, and that the ownership of firearms accessories is not a fundamental right; thus restrictions on firearms accessories that gun control advocates are especially scared of only need to have a rational basis.

    I think we’re very lucky McCarthy’s staff swung for the bleachers with this one. A more modest bill might have had a distressingly good chance of passing and standing.

  4. Right. We can’t fall into the trap of thinking they’re all Daleys when there are a couple Bloombergs among them.

    This is why I don’t like discussing the future of concealed carry in Jersey too much in public. If our enemies continue to be as stupid and stubborn as they’ve traditionally been–and all signs say that’s exactly what they intend to do–things stand to turn out very well for us. If they were smart and put their goals ahead of their egos, there are quite a few ways they could make this much more difficult for us and ultimately hold onto more of the restrictions they’ve grown accustomed to. Why do their homework for them?

  5. Y’know, I’m a bit of a “gun guy,” and, I’m embarrassed to say it, but the media blitz on 33-rounders had me thinking of 33-round Glocks and 30-round AKs every time “ban more than 10” was mentioned. But now I look over at some of my guns and realize even my cute, little, pocket-sized .22 has 11-round mags. I like guns, and I’m against the ban, of course, but they had my thoughts focused only on the heavy hitters. No wonder non-gun citizens tend to think of AKs instead of a typical 15-round 9mm on this kind of stuff.

  6. Note that those BATFE production figures for Glocks would omit *imported* Glocks, wouldn’t they? Which would also come with full-cap magazines.

    So I’d imagine a total of a lot more than 71,000 pistols.

  7. It’s funny how it works, isn’t it Wes? It’s deliberate. If they said high capacity is anything over 10 rounds they’d lose a lot of people. They want people to think 33 round magazines sticking out of the gun. Why?

    No one would carry such a thing. Most gun owners wouldn’t own such a thing. That’s why this whole thing was such a gift for the other side, and they accepted it gladly. That’s also, IMHO, what makes their behavior in this awful.

  8. I would say this was a pandora box for them, gift wise. As long as I am on a classical kick, anyway.

    The other kicker is NJ’s 15-round ban. Why is 15 rounds acceptable in NJ but not MA?

  9. I was under the impression that Glock sells more than 300,000 pistols in the US every year. Don’t know where I heard that.

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