Gun Owners Fight Back
Article from Reason by Jacob Sullum.
Thanks to a December 5 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, New Jersey’s ban on gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds took effect on December 10. By that date, all owners of heretofore legal “large capacity magazines” (LCMs) were required to surrender them to police, render them inoperable, modify them so they cannot hold more than 10 rounds, or sell them to authorized owners. Those who failed to do so are guilty of a fourth-degree felony, punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
How many of New Jersey’s 1 million or so gun owners have complied with the ban by turning LCMs in to law enforcement agencies? Approximately zero, judging from an investigation by Ammoland writer John Crump. Crump, an NRA instructor and gun rights activist, “reached out to several local police departments in New Jersey” and found that “none had a single report of magazines turned over.” He also contacted the New Jersey State Police, which has not officially responded to his inquiry. But “two sources from within the State Police,” speaking on condition of anonymity, said “they both do not know of any magazines turned over to their agency and doubted that any were turned in.”
I also contacted the state police, where Sgt. Jeff Flynn told me they have received “zero” LCMs. Flynn said I should address any other questions about the law to the Attorney General’s Office, which I did. Leland Moore, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said I should talk to the state police. Crump got the same runaround. When I pointed that out, Moore said by email, “We do not have information on how many LCMs have been received by local police in the hundreds of municipalities across NJ. That’s not something we track.”
Law enforcement agencies, of course, would not necessarily know about gun owners who complied with the law in one of the other approved ways. It’s possible that some gun owners destroyed their suddenly illegal magazines, modified them, or transferred them to, say, gun owners in other states or retired cops, who are exempt from the magazine ban. But there is no direct evidence of that either.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By Cory Doctorow (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons