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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:23 PM

26. Punitive or not?

I would agreee with you that seven rounds is punitive

I'd go even further, and argue that it is likely to promote more people who would otherewise be law abiding to be scoff laws.

In that, we are 100% in agreement. In fact, NY is not prepared or inclined to aggressively enforce this provision. The net effect will be a law that is widely ignored, not a good precedent to set.

But on the other hand, there was an excellent argument made that the 13th bullet that killed the little girl at the Gabby Gifford shooting made the difference between her being alive or dead.

The problem with quantifying which bullet killed whom is that it suggests that somehow the first few casualties are acceptable.

Loughner was only stopped because he had to reload.

Arguably, Loughner was stopped because he made the extreme tactical error of engaging a crowd of people at close range. In such a scenario, a shooter could expect to be physically attacked from any side while still shooting. The Washington Post timeline of the shooting states that he made a magazine change, but the new magazine failed to feed a round properly.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/giffords-shooting-timeline/

If this is accurate, then it was a mechanical failure that stopped him, not the intervention of the woman who ripped the other magazine from his hand. Large-capacity magazines are more prone to mechanical failure because of the extreme mechanical demands placed on their springs.

So, while it will always be arbitrary where to draw the line, given there are now AR-15 pistols and other assault-style pistols I can understand the arguments for settling on a lower rather than higher magazine size to try to address the problem guns. Therefore it is not really true that this is a petty, punitive or pointless restriction.

Just so we're clear, you do realize that magazine capacity limits are independent of specific models of guns, right? So what you are saying is that because there are pistols that are chambered in rifle calibers, we should restrict all pistol magazines to seven or fewer?

AR-15 pistols are extremely rare; .22 caliber handguns like the Ruger MK II/III exist in the millions, and take 10-round magazines. Owners of these pistols in NY are no longer able to buy new magazines for their pistols -- and magazines are subject to wear -- nor are they able to sell their pistols in-state with the 10-round magazines. A pistol without a magazine is useless. I believe this is one of the grounds in the legal challenge to NY's new law: that it represents a de facto "taking" of previously legally-held property.

Isn't it true that most revolvers are five or six shot? And isn't it possible to either find smaller magazines for 22 target rifles? If so, after the ban has been in effect for say one legislative cycle, I would argue that the better alternative to fighting such a ban completely might be to amend the legislation so that such weapons as the target rifles can be considered legal so long as the magazines used with them are smaller.

Larger-caliber revolvers are five or six-shot. Many .22 caliber revolvers were designed to take advantage of the small size of the round, and hold 8, 10, or even 12 rounds. We're talking about firearms like this:



This was never considered strange or dangerous before. Now it's illegal in NY -- grandfathered if you own it, but illegal to buy, sell, or transfer henceforth. Essentially a delayed-action ban. I realize that words like "excessive" and "punitive" are subjective, but virtually every gun owner thinks that this ban is both of those things.

As for the .22 rifles, again, remember that it is the magazine that is banned, not the firearm that holds it. For some rifles, smaller magazines exist. For others, there are none, and probably never will be, given economies of scale in manufacture and the fact that no manufacturer is going to produce a magazine that will only be used for a niche firearm in one of the 50 states, especially since the legal limit that they would be building to, at some start-up expense, could be arbitrarily changed by another piece of blitzkrieg legislation like the SAFE Act. Who's to say the next limit won't be five, or even three? The sad fact is that no producer of such rifles ever imagined that their rifle would be targeted by "common sense" legislation. For example, the new Browning T-bolt Sporter is a .22 rifle that is intended for target shooting and hunting squirrels and other small game:



It comes with a proprietary 10-round magazine. It is highly unlikely that any other magazine will ever be developed and produced for it. If you live in NY, you can buy this rifle before April 15, but when the full force of SAFE Act kicks in, you will never again be able to buy one or to buy a replacement magazine for it should you lose or break the magazine it came with. Sure, there are other rifles you can buy, but I have to ask what compelling public need makes this rifle to dangerous for the good people of New York to own? Ten rounds in a magazine that only works in one model of bolt-action .22 rifle?

This legislation is tone-deaf, excessive, and yes, punitive. It represents culture war at its worst.

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