The History of Standard Capacity Magazines Declared ‘High Capacity’ by the Media and Government

A Jumble of Misused Terms

Much of the movement gained traction after the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which prohibited the import of new magazines with more than a ten round capacity. Although this law expired ten years later it provided a valuable lever for the anti-gun movement to create similar laws among states.

As of today, only eight states and the District of Columbia regulate the size of magazines. A common limit placed in these states is often ten rounds. In addition, some large cities, most commonly in California, New York, and Illinois, have similar capacity bans.

Much of the movement to tamper gun rights and reduce the size of legal magazines came with the fight over the Federal Assault Weapons Ban can be seen in the LA Times’ original coverage. California’s own Diane Feinstein called the effort that ultimately passed into law a hollow victory, originally aiming to ban all “assault weapons.” At the time she blamed the influence of the NRA, same as gun grabbers do today.

What about the dependable M1 Carbine that thousands of US Servicemen carried into the Second World War and Korea? It came standard with either a 15 or 30 round magazine. Hundreds of thousands of the rifles flooded the civilian market after the war and found its way in households across the country.

Even some lever action rifles used predominantly in the Nineteenth Century were fitted with over a ten round capacity– even before the introduction of the modern magazine.

Many of these efforts are part of an effort to obfuscate the terminology and capability of weapons. This can be seen with California Representative Loretta Sanchez’s comments, as covered in the conservative website Townhall. She lamented the legality of “multiautomatic round weapons.” Such dishonest and gun-illiterate attempts to restrict the rights of Americans is more than a shame, it’s completely unconstitutional.