Republicans Going Wobbly On Magazine Bans?

Bad news: There are signs that some Republicans are thinking of caving on magazine capacity bans. “An increasing number of lawmakers in both parties appear willing to compromise on high-capacity magazines, the one component of gun control legislation that seems palatable to Republicans who view a full ban on assault weapons as politically toxic.”

There’s also this report from last year that suggests some Republicans are thinking of caving.

Democrats in congress have already introduced bills to ban standard capacity magazines. In the Senate, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has introduced legislation (S.33) that would ban the manufacture and sale of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. In the House, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)’s H.138 would do the same.

If there’s a bright spot, it’s that neither piece actually names any Republicans. It could be the usual case of Democratic allies in the media trying to make a magazine ban look “inevitable,” when in truth it’s anything but.

But gun owners can’t take that risk. Democrats believe they can achieve gun control (and eventually a complete ban on civilian firearms ownership) incrementally, and a useless, cosmetic ban on easily machined pieces of metal and plastic is part of their divide and conquer strategy. We need to make a magazine capacity ban every bit as “politically toxic” as any other gun control measure. Gun owners should let their senators and congressmen know we’re having none of it. You need to tell them you absolutely oppose any magazine capacity ban.

I’ll even provide a sample letter:


Since you’re my representative, I just wanted to write you today in opposition to the firearm capacity bans currently proposed in congress. Both Senate Bill 33 and House Bill 138 seek to ban firearm magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. This is a foolish, irrational, and unconstitutional idea for many reasons.

First, several modern weapons are designed and shipped with magazines of higher capacities. Glock pistols, for instance, regularly ship with 17 round magazines. Second, like all gun control laws, it only penalizes the law abiding, as criminals will continue to use any capacity magazine they want. Third, with tens (if not hundreds) of millions of higher capacity magazines already in circulation, the ban would only penalize law-abiding gun owners purchasing from licensed firearms dealers. Fourth, the ban would be unenforceable for the non-law abiding, as magazines, being relatively simple mechanisms of metal and plastic, can easily be manufactured by anyone with basic machining equipment. Finally, such a ban violates not only the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, but also the 10th, as the Constitution nowhere specifies a role for government in regulating firearm magazine capacity, thus leaving the matter to the states.

This issue is very important to me, my family, my friends, and all other law-abiding firearms owners. We’re being scapegoated and hung out to dry by irrational appeals to emotion and knee-jerk legislation being pushed in response to the isolated actions of madmen. Instead of addressing the real root causes of mental health, liberals and their media allies seek to cow and stigmatize the sane and law-abiding over the actions of the criminal and insane as part of their long-term goal of completely eliminating civilian firearm ownership. As such, there can be no compromise on this issue, and any ban on 15, 20, or 30 round magazines must be categorically rejected as an irrational infringement of the rights of law-abiding Americans.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to reject any magazine capacity ban bills.



Here’s Dwight page of contact information for their Texas Congressional representatives, and here’s a link for any other congressional critters.

And the NRA-ILA just sent around a list of senate phone numbers to contact:

  • Sen. Max Baucus: 202-224-2651
  • Sen. Mark Begich: 202-224-3004
  • Sen. Susan Collins: 202-224-2523
  • Sen. Joe Donnelly: 202-224-4814
  • Sen. Kay Hagan: 202-224-6342
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich: 202-224-5521
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: 202-224-2043
  • Sen. Tim Johnson: 202-224-5842
  • Sen. Tim Kaine: 202-224-4024
  • Sen. Angus King: 202-224-5344
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu: 202-224-5824
  • Sen. Joe Manchin: 202-224-3954
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill: 202-224-6154
  • Sen. Mark Pryor: 202-224-2353
  • Sen. Harry Reid: 202-224-3542
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen: 202-224-2841
  • Sen. Jon Tester: 202-224-2644
  • Sen. Mark Udall: 202-224-5941
  • Sen. Tom Udall: 202-224-6621
  • Sen. Mark Warner: 202-224-2023
  • And after you’ve contacted your representatives, follow up. If they say they’re opposed, send them a thank you note. If they say they support such a bill, or waffle (“the Senator only supports reasonable firearms legislation”), keep after them. Ask them for a definitive answer and express your opposition. Tell them voting for a bill is cause not only for voting against them, but for backing both primary and general election challenges against them.

    Gun banners only succeed when we fail to oppose them hard enough. Keep up the pressure.

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