Judge Rules that Standard Capacity Magazines are Not Protected by the Second Amendment

In the case of Hanson v. District of Columbia, in the District Court of the District of Columbia, on April 20, 2023, federal Judge Rudolf Contreras issued an opinion asserting that standard capacity magazines which hold over ten rounds of ammunition are not protected under the Second Amendment. Judge Contreras conceded that magazines that hold more than ten rounds are commonly used in the United States.  Contreras also acknowledged that magazines that hold over ten rounds are arms as defined by the Second Amendment’s text.

In his opinion, Contreras issued the following statement where he tries to argue that these magazines don’t fall under Second Amendment protections:

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 (emphasis added) (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 625). 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 (emphasis added). That is the question this Court must now resolve.

Contreras added: 

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 there are good justices who will uphold our constitutional rights, most of the judicial class is very detached from Middle America and the founding principles of America. For that reason, gun rights activists must develop strategies outside of litigation to protect their rights. That consists of nullifying unconstitutional gun control laws and rolling back gun control at the federal level through legislative repeals. We simply cannot put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to realizing policy changes.

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