Rep. McCarthy’s Magazine Ban–Worse Than First Imagined

Here is some moron more on Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s recently-introduced magazine ban legislation. I studied the bill’s wording and I learned:

  • The bill defines large capacity ammunition feeding devices as “a 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” (This is nearly the same as the now defunct 1994 law, but it does not exempt tubular or otherwise non-detachable magazines.)
  • For Post-Enactment Devices: Prohibits the transfer, possession, or import of a large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of enactment of the bill .
  • For Pre-Enactment Devices: Prohibits the transfer or import (but not possession) of large capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured before the date of enactment of the bill. This is a huge difference from the 1994 ban, which allowed the transfer of any “pre-ban” magazines or belts, under a grandfather clause.
  • As Sebastian at the Snowflakes in H*ll blog pointed out, the ban includes any magazine that holds more than 10 cartridges, even if it is a fixed tubular magazine. (The only exception is for .22 rimfire.) So this effectively bans transfers of even pre-1898 antique Henry, Model 1866, Model 1873, and Model 1892 Winchester rifles (and replicas) with long magazines! Ditto for Colt Lightning rifles and many other pump and lever-action guns. And ditto for Astra Broomhandle Mauser pistols with integral 12 or 20 round magazines. All these guns would be “frozen” from any transfer until the death of their owner, whereupon the guns would become contraband.
  • It also includes fixed tubular magazines on shotguns. It is noteworthy that many shotguns with ostensibly “7 round” or “8 round” tubular magazines actually have 12+ round magazines if you use the stubby Mini 12 gauge shells. (And remember, it will be the notorious “shoelace squad” BATFE that will be enforcing the law, so any guesses on how they will define the magazine capacity of your shotgun?)
  • It includes belts and links as “large capacity ammunition feeding devices”. It also requires that any magazines or links produced after the ban goes into effect must have a serial number marked. (Yes, marked on each magazine, belt, and link.) For disintegrating belt links (those ubiquitous little black steel tabs) this would create a manufacturing nightmare for military contractors! Could you imagine stamping or engraving a unique serial number on each of the hundreds of millions of links that are produced each year? How would you fit that many digits on the curved surface of a 3/4-inch long 5.56mm M249 SAW link? Micro-stamping, perhaps?
  • Unlike the 1994-to-2004 Federal ban, there is no 10-year “sunset” clause. This law will be permanent!
  • The term “Transfer” is not adequately defined. Let’s say you were to allow someone in your family or a friend shoot your rifle or pistol with an 11+ round magazine. Then that could be construed as a felony “transfer”, even if you are present during the target shooting session.
  • The absurdity of this bill can best be seen when you consider that it will also control the magazines, belts, and links used for registered Class 3 full-auto guns. Who would ever want to buy a $7,000+ registered machinegun if the only magazines and belts available for purchase are limited to 10 round capacity? (The guns themselves could still be transferred with a $200 Federal tax, but the magazines, and belts could only be transferred if they held 10 rounds or less. And to be legal, any belts assembled from links after the bill is enacted would be limited to 10-round length. That is absolutely ludicrous.)
  • The “transfer” portion of this law opens up innumerable opportunities for inadvertent law-breaking. What about a soldier who accidentally brings home an M16 magazine in his TA-50 dufflebag? What about someone who bids on buying the entire contents of a storage space with a lapsed contract? If they bring home a box that includes just one 11+ round magazine, then they will have committed a felony with huge fines and a possible 10 year prison sentence.
  • There is no exception in the law for magazines belonging to retiring servicemen or peace officers.
  • There is no exception in the law for sales of replacement parts to keep magazines in repair. So if a magazine gets dented or breaks, then it becomes permanently useless.
  • Most importantly: There is no exception in the law for passing down magazines, belts, or links within a family, as gifts or bequests. Once you die, then your 11+ round magazines will become contraband, and any subsequent possessor could be charged with a felony. Your heirs might as well tuck your magazines in your casket.

Please contact your congresscritters and insist that this ill-conceived bill be vigorously opposed!