Judge Rules that Standard Capacity Magazines are “Not in Common Use for Self Defense”

On April 20, 2023, in the case of Hanson v. District of Columbia, in the District Court of the District of Columbia, on federal Judge Rudolf Contreras wrote an opinion ruling standard capacity magazines which hold over ten rounds of ammunition are not protected under the Second Amendment. Contreras’ opinion stated the following:

“More importantly, Heller II recognized that whether LCMs are “in common use” is merely the beginning of the analysis. The full inquiry is “whether the prohibited weapons are ‘typically possessed . . . for lawful purposes.’” Heller II, 670 F.3d at 1260. On that critical question, Heller II expressed uncertainty: “based upon the record as it stands, we cannot be certain whether these weapons are commonly used or are useful specifically for self-defense[.]” Id. at 1261. That is the question this Court must now resolve.”

Contreras’ opinion continued by noting:

The District disagrees; it argues that LCMs are not in common use for self-defense for two reasons. First, it claims that LCMs’ military characteristics make them a poor fit for self-defense and take them outside the scope of the Second Amendment. Second, the District claims that law-abiding individuals do not use LCMs for self-defense because incidents where a civilian actually expends more than ten bullets in self-defense are “vanishingly rare.” Defs.’ Opp’n at 18. The Court agrees with the District on both arguments.

While the court system has delivered several notable Second Amendment victories such as the DC v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, it’s just as capable of ruling against gun rights. After all, judges are part of a ruling class that’s detached from the everyday realities of Middle America. Ultimately, gun owners need a multi-pronged approach of legislative action, litigation, and nullification campaigns at the local level to protect gun rights nationwide. 

There’s multiple ways to skin this cat and it makes sense for activists to use all means at their disposal so that our rights stay safe.

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