August 19, 2022

Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve

The individual voices and opinions of some first responders

The Faulty Logic of Magazine Capacity Limits


“High capacity” magazines are another arrow in the anti-gunners quiver of false arguments.

First, let me clarify, what they are trying to ban are not really “high capacity” magazines, they are standard capacity.  When a gun is designed to accept a detachable magazine, it is designed in a manner to accept a magazine capable of holding a certain number of rounds. Just because that number is higher than the number of digits one has on their hands does not make it “high capacity”. Secondly, the capacity of the magazine has absolutely nothing to do with the lethality of a firearm.  The lethality of a firearm is determined by the caliber of the weapon and the ballistics that results from the combination of the ammunition used and the barrel length; not by the number of bullets the gun has in it.

David Gregory breaking the law holding a banned 30 round AR mag
David Gregory breaking the law holding a banned 30 round AR mag

As a gun owner, a husband, a father, a citizen, a cop, and a gunfight survivor, I have to ask myself a few questions.  Where does this magic number of 10 bullets, or 7 in the case of New York, come from?  What gunfight/firearms/combat/law enforcement/crime/mass shooting expert provided that number, and what was their basis for determining that number?  What makes the gun control crowd think that limiting magazine capacity to 10 bullets will have any effect of mass shootings? What is the logical basis for that argument? If a network reporter (David Gregory) can so easily break a “high capacity” magazine ban law on national television, what makes anyone even dream that it will stop someone with evil intentions?

For a well-trained shooter, it takes about a second or less to perform a magazine change and get back on target. For sake of argument, if I were someone intent of committing a mass shooting, and let’s say I limited myself to only the “magically less lethal 10 round magazines”, I am still going to bring as many magazines as I can carry so that I can continue my rampage as long as possible. During those 1-2 second intervals when I, the assailant, am changing magazines, are the victims of the assault supposed to rush me, the attacker? Or are they supposed to flee the scene? That short time frame is not sufficient for even a professional athlete to make a difference, let alone an average citizen who is soiling their drawers during what is likely the scariest thing they have ever encountered.

Sheriff Ken Campbell from Boone County, IN released an excellent video back on February 23, 2013 where he had shooters of various skill levels assist him in debunking the ridiculousness of magazine capacity limits, specifically addressing reload times and the “a good person could tackle the suspect” theories thrown around by the logic-lacking antis.

Will 10 round magazines stem the tide? No, and there is absolutely no evidence to even suggest it would. But what that limit will do is render a lawful, concealed carry (CCW) holder less able to defend themselves or others from an armed assault. See, while the person intent on perpetrating an attack has all the time in the world to prepare and gear up, because they know when they are going to strike, the CCW holder likely only has their sidearm because they are prepared for the what if, not prepared for battle like the armed attacker is. Why would you limit the good guy to 10 rounds to try and stop the bad guy who is going to be armed to the teeth?

That 10 round limit, or 7 for the unfortunate folks in New York, is completely ridiculous, and was clearly determined by someone who has never been in a gunfight. Unlike in Hollywood, when people are moving and shooting at you, and killing people around you, you tend not to be the most accurate shooter in the world and you might possibly miss a round or two. Additionally, unlike Hollywood, when a bad guy gets shot, they do not fly back 20 feet and become instantly incapacitated. Real bad guys have been known to soak up over a dozen rounds and live, and in some cases, continue to fight even though they are mortally wounded.

A recent incident in Georgia (January 4, 2013) is the perfect example of the stupidity of artificial magazine capacity limits. A mother saw an intruder breaking into her home, called 9-1-1, grabbed her gun and her 2 sons and retreated to a hiding area, and waited for the cops to arrive. The intruder broke into her home and began searching it. When he found the woman and her two sons hiding, she shot him 5 times from a few feet away, emptying her revolver. That intruder, who was shot 5 times in the face, neck and torso, got up, went back to his car and managed to drive away. Thankfully, considering her gun was now empty, once the intruder was shot, he decided to retreat. Thankfully there was not a second intruder. Townhall article about this incident.

In another, real life example of why someone needs more than 10 bullets in their gun, in August 2008, police Sergeant Timothy Grammins was involved in a shootout with a bank robber.  During the 56 second shootout, Grammins fired 33 rounds from his Glock 21 (.45 ACP), leaving him with only 4 rounds left in his last magazine at the end of the battle.  “At the core of his desperate firefight was a murderous attacker who simply would not go down, even though he was shot 14 times with .45-cal. ammunition — six of those hits in supposedly fatal locations.”  – Police One article “Why one cop carries 145 rounds of ammo on the job”

In fact, in the land of the banned “assault rifle” and the long standing 10 round magazine*, that law has routinely failed to prevent criminals from obtaining magazines exceeding that artificially imposed 10 round limit.  The most recent, excellent example of the inefficacy of that law is the June 7, 2013 shooting spree in Santa Monica, CA.  In that incident, the shooter, who was only 4 years old when “high capacity” magazines were last legally available in CA, had well over ten 30 round mags for his AR-15.

All of these incidents reinforce something that is so intrinsically basic to gun owners, it is difficult for us to see how others fail to grasp a few basic realities:
– Real world gun fights often require more than 10 rounds
– Gun laws only affect law abiding citizens
– Artificial magazine capacity limits are just like all the other gun laws, and only affect law abiding citizens
– Artificially limiting the good guys to only 10 rounds just aids the bad guys who don’t obey the laws

As always, your questions and comments are welcome.  Be safe out there.

* Magazines exceeding 10 round capacity have not been for sale in CA since 1994, when they were banned federally.  That federal law later expired in 2004, but California also has a state law that has been in effect since 2000 banning magazines over 10 rounds.