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High Capacity Magazines: Democrats Want to Try ‘Gun Control’ That Already Failed

Gun Magazine Ban
A "fifth generation" Glock 17 as adopted by the French Armed Forces in 2020, standard version specifically made for the FAF: front serrations, coyote brown grip, lanyard attachment.

Is a new gun magazine ban coming? Democratic lawmakers have a plan to keep Americans safe, and it involves limiting the size of magazines for firearms.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey along with Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Dina Titus of Nevada introduced the “Keep Americans Safe Act.”

This new piece of gun control legislation would ban the sale, manufacture, transfer, importation, and even possession of firearms magazines that can hold more than ten rounds.

The Keep American Safe Act was cosponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Angus King (I-Maine), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

Not a single Republican supported the bill, and none of the Democrats – including Pennsylvania’s Casey, who is not up for reelection until 2024 – are in states that could potentially flip back to Republican control in the mid-terms.

Introduced on Wednesday, the bill comes just a week after President Joe Biden called upon Congress to ban so-called “assault weapons” as well as “high-capacity” magazines as part of wider gun control measures. This isn’t the first time such larger capacity magazines have been so openly demonized by lawmakers. Magazines that held more than ten rounds were banned for ten years under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994.

“There’s no reason why anyone, other than military, needs a gun magazine that holds more than 10 rounds,” said Rep. DeGette. “It’s past time for Congress to act on common-sense gun safety measures such as this. Banning the sale of high-capacity magazines in this country will save lives and Congress needs to act on this legislation immediately.”

Gun Magazine Ban: Why It Won’t Work

However, the Department of Justice (DoJ) conducted a study in 2004 that concluded that such a ban actually did little to reduce gun violence.

“Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” the study concluded.

However, the bill has already earned support from several gun control organizations including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence; Everytown; March for Our Lives; Change The Ref; Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; Center for American Progress and Violence Policy Center; Orange Ribbons for Gun Safety.

“High capacity magazines are the common denominator in the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history,” said Brady President Kris Brown in a statement. “Whether coupled with a handgun or an assault rifle, high capacity magazines increase the lethality of every shooting and it is long past time that we limit how many times a trigger can be pulled before a shooter needs to reload. The Keep America Safe Act will keep these instruments of war off our streets and help to eliminate this threat to public safety and law enforcement. Brady thanks Rep. Deutch for introducing this common-sense and important bill.”

As part of the newly introduced bill, a high-capacity magazine program would be authorized – but lawmakers were quick to address that the ban would not include any magazines someone already currently possesses. Owners would therefore be allowed to keep such “high capacity” magazines they already have, but would not be allowed to transfer or sell them to anyone else.

Given that these aren’t actually traceable, it isn’t clear how that law could be enforced. Arguably gun shows could ban the sale of such items, but it would be a Herculean task for law enforcement to even attempt to stop personal sales from being conducted. It is also unclear what punishment would be in place should someone attempt to transfer/sell a high-capacity magazine if the bill becomes law.

The lawmakers also suggested that while the sale of newly manufactured “high capacity” magazines would be banned for private sale, there would be exceptions for certain current and former law enforcement personnel. These would be marked with a “conspicuous serial number” as well as the date of manufacture, which could allow law enforcement to trace these accordingly, to stop black market sales.

The bill also would prevent coupled or joined magazines. That would likely make it illegal to use tape or other low-tech solutions to join magazines, but as with other provisions, it isn’t clear how this would be enforced.

This is also not the first time in recent years that a gun magazine ban has been introduced by lawmakers. The hope now could be that with the Democrats having a slim hold on the House of Representatives and control of the U.S. Senate, as well as a president who has called for greater gun control, it could pass.

If at first, you don’t succeed…introduce the bill again and again.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. 

Written By

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. kjj5874

    April 18, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    How do you pronounce stupid /ignorant? that would be , D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t. Ban high capacity magazines, but they can’t enforce that Ban? You can keep your personal high capacity 30 round magazines, probably 300 million in circulation where you can keep yours but the manufacture will not be able to manufacture new ones. Sounds like a hell of a plan to run the manufactures out of business and then later make the ones we have illegal. If millons of gun owners and all the states stand behind the second amendment. we can stop these communist democrats in washington from doing anything that is unconstitutional

  2. merryinfidel

    April 19, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Democrats are the very definition of the word “insanity.” They keep pushing the same, socialist policies that have failed time and time again, but expect a different result…

  3. LibertyToad

    April 19, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Actually, 30-round rifle magazines are not considered “high” capacity, they are more accurately considered “standard” capacity. Once again, they are targeting law-abiding citizens. This isn’t about “gun violence”, it is about slowly neutering law-abiding citizen’s self-defense and 2nd Amendment rights. Criminals will simply ignore the law as always.

  4. D

    April 19, 2021 at 10:54 am

    “We are not coming after your guns”

  5. Steven Sloan

    April 19, 2021 at 11:43 am

    When Congress can absolutely guarantee that not one single criminal will ever have a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, then MAYBE I will consider the same. Until then, NO.

  6. Zorost

    April 19, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Do you honestly think the Left cares about ending gun violence? They are the ones egging it on. You will not convince them to stop trying to control guns, because it is a means to their ends of controlling people. That end will never change, so the means won’t either.

    You aren’t going to guilt-trip the Left into coming to their senses, they are wide awake. More wide awake than the Right, since many still don’t see that we are on the verge of becoming a 1 party socialist state. Perhaps we are already past that verge.

  7. Dwayne

    April 19, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    I was attacked by a pack of dogs when I was a child. What capacity magazine did I need to avoid being bitten? (I was bitten but recovered).

  8. Joe Schmoe

    April 19, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I’m curious how a limit on the number of rounds in a magazine impacts the defensive capabilities of a law abiding citizen when confronted with a criminal who has more than the legal amount of rounds in their gun….

    Anyone who has been in a high stress altercation would know that the number of bullets you have is critical because you WILL miss if you have to shoot back and 17 rounds is way better than 10.

  9. TS Adams

    April 19, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    A picture of the Red Chinese executing a young girl is worth a thousand rifles and ten thousand rounds per gun of ammo. And some really bad freedom of speech.

  10. MaxAmoeba

    April 19, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    It is usually said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. With a Democrat, it’s not insanity…it’s idiocy.

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