By: Teresa Mull
An appellate court has upheld a ban in New Jersey on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by gun-rights activists who said the state's 10-round magazine cap ran afoul of the Second, Fifth, and 14th amendments.
The 3-1 ruling is a victory for New Jersey, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, despite an increasingly conservative federal court system that gun control advocates feared would roll back restrictions. The lone dissent on the decision was from a judge appointed by President Donald Trump.
The state defended the law, which exempted active military and police officers as well as retired police officers, by arguing that it could safe lives by forcing a mass shooter to pause to reload.
The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs sued the state immediately after the law was passed. Federal judges concluded that the law does not violate the Second Amendment because it does not prohibit possession of firearms or "effectively disarm individuals or substantially affect their ability to defend themselves." Judges also noted that the law does not limit the number of magazines that a person can own.
This blow to the Second Amendment comes on the heels of a 2A victory in California, where the Ninth Circuit Court overturned the state’s prohibition on firearm magazines of more than 10 rounds by a 2-1 vote, on the grounds that the law violates the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.
In Hawaii, too, gun owners are pushing back. The Hawaii Firearms Coalition has filed its own lawsuit against the state’s so-called “high-capacity” magazine ban.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.