Assault Weapons, Paired With Large-Capacity Magazines, Have Long Been Weapon of Choice for Mass Shooters
Washington, D.C., December 1, 2022 — A Washington, D.C., law forbidding the possession, sale, or transfer of large-capacity magazines (LCMs) is analogous to historical firearms regulations in the U.S. and does not burden the right of armed self-defense, Brady said in an amicus brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The full brief is available here.
Plaintiffs brought the lawsuit against Washington, D.C., in August, challenging D.C. Code Section 7-2506.01(b), which prohibits certain LCMs capable of accepting more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The suit is the latest example of gun laws’ being challenged across the U.S. following the Supreme Court’s dangerous ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, decided in June. Brady joined with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and March for Our Lives in filing the brief.
The brief explains that the regulation does not burden the right articulated in Bruen – to armed self-defense outside the home – because LCMs are fundamentally not necessary for self-defense, and it catalogs analogous historical regulations. It also details the risks posed by modern LCMs coupled with advances in firearm technology. As of July 2020, LCMs were used in the 10 deadliest mass shootings of the prior decade, and mass shootings from 1990 to 2017 involving LCMs resulted in a 62% higher death toll compared to those that did not involve an LCM.
Brady Counsel Shira Feldman shared:
“Large-capacity magazines only exist to impose maximum carnage in the minimum amount of time. Having the ability to fire more than 10 rounds of ammunition without reloading is unnecessary for self-defense, and sensible laws restricting magazine sizes in D.C. - and elsewhere - are constitutional under the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen.”
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.