‘Large-Capacity Magazines Are Not Protected by the 2nd Amendment Because They Are Not Commonly Used for Self-Defense,’ Maryland Attorney General Supports Upholding Laws Restricting Gun Magazine Capacity


Per the Maryland Attorney General’s Office: Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown has joined a coalition of 17 other Attorneys General supporting California’s efforts to restrict the
capacity of firearms magazines within its borders. The coalition filed an amicus brief yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court, arguing that California’s prohibition on
the possession and sale of large-capacity magazines is consistent with the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

“There is no justification for large-capacity magazines in the hands of everyday citizens,” said Attorney General Brown. “These devices that pose a threat to our communities are more
suitable on the battlefield. I am committed to keeping common-sense restrictions in place on these deadly devices.”

The case, Duncan vs. Bonta, concerns the constitutionality of a California law that allows for possession and sale of firearms magazines that accept up to ten rounds of ammunition, but prohibits larger capacity magazines (LCM). The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued a preliminary injunction against California’s LCM ban, and California has
appealed the decision. The Ninth Circuit has stayed the lower court’s preliminary injunction while it considers California’s appeal granted, allowing the law to remain in effect for now.
In the brief, the coalition argues that California’s large-capacity magazine law is a constitutionally permissible restriction because:

• To encourage public safety, states can and do impose restrictions on dangerous weapons, accessories, and ammunition that pose a threat to
communities: States have widely adopted reasonable restrictions on the public carry, possession, and sale of many types of weapons, accessories, and forms of
ammunition that are not suitable for self-defense and undermine the public’s safety. These restrictions are intended to reduce injuries and deaths, while leaving many
other options available for individuals who wish to exercise the core Second Amendment right to self-defense.

•Large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are not “Arms,” and they are not commonly used or suitable for
self-defense: The Second Amendment protects only firearms that are commonly used or suitable for self-defense. Large-capacity magazines are neither. Instead, they
facilitate the infliction of more injuries and more deaths when used in mass shootings and other forms of gun violence.

• California’s law is consistent with a historical tradition of regulating and imposing restrictions on new and distinctively dangerous forms of weaponry:
Historical gunpowder storage laws and other rules and regulations were explicitly intended to prevent threats to public safety by limiting the aggregation of arsenals far
beyond what would be sufficient for self-defense. Many state and federal laws throughout American history have also regulated specific dangerous weapons or
accessories used for criminal and other violent purposes, such as machine guns or short-barreled shotguns.

In submitting the brief, Attorney General Brown joins the Attorneys General Andrea of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, New Jersey New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.”
https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/press/2023/113023a.pdf

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