What gun owners need to know about NJ’s high capacity magazine ban.

New Jersey’s has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and they just got tougher.  On Wednesday a Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia ruled that a June 2018 gun law in New Jersey (AB2761) limiting the size of a magazine to 10 rounds does not violate the constitutional rights of gun owners and does not present an undue burden on gun owners who currently own magazines that would become illegal under the new law.

Scott Back, Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs who had filed the suit challenging New Jersey’s high capacity magazine ban told The Hill “This decision is plainly wrong and upholds New Jersey’s unconstitutional law turning one million honest citizens into felons for keeping property obtained legally that could be used for defending their lives. The decision will be further appealed”.

Gun owners were given until December 10, 2018 to comply with the new law.  Gun owners in New Jersey must either modify their magazines to accept 10 rounds or less, render firearms with with magazines that accept more than 10 rounds inoperable or surrender a firearm with a magazine that accepts more than 10 rounds to law enforcement.  Violators can be found guilty of a crime of the 4th degree and face 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The law does not make an exception for off duty law enforcement officers.  According to this memorandum from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to ranking law enforcement officers in Bergen County.  According to the memorandum law enforcement officers in New Jersey must comply with the new large capacity magazine ban unless on duty.  The memorandum states that law enforcement officers are not permitted to possess large capacity ammunition magazines unless while on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty.

Cops no high capacity clips

To put this law into perspective the Glock 19 which is the most popular gun in the United States holds 15 rounds of ammunition.

Glock-19-9mm_main-1So now that it is illegal to possess any magazine that is capable of accepting more than 10 rounds of ammunition for semi-automatic pistols or rifles, or 6 rounds for semi-automatic shotguns in New Jersey what do gun owners need to know?  Evan E. Nappen an Attorney in Eatontown put out a piece on his web site explaining the new law.  According to Nappen hundreds of thousands of otherwise honest citizens have now been turned into potential criminals for possessing lawfully obtained magazines over 10 rounds. A conviction for unlawful possession of a large capacity magazine under NJ law is a “crime” which is the equivalent of a “felony conviction.” A person who is convicted loses their Second Amendment Rights and becomes prohibited throughout the entire United States for possession of a firearm.   Nappen goes on to say that no real criminal is going to care about this law or obey it. Only law-abiding citizens will comply and be placed at a disadvantage defending themselves and their families. Governor Murphy and the Democrat controlled legislature has decided that you and your loved one’s lives aren’t worth more than 10 rounds.

In another piece on Nappen’s web site he talks about enforcement.  According to Nappen the New Jersey State Police corresponded with Breitbart News on December 11 and refused to rule out house-to-house enforcement of the state’s “high capacity” magazine ban.  

Nappen says there are four basic levels of potential enforcement.  He questions how aggressive the “anti-gun rights” Murphy administration is going to be in enforcing the “Murphy Mag ban”.  He says these are the four possibilities.

  1. Police Raids: House-to-house searches of suspected possessors.
  2. Police Investigations: Interrogation of suspected possessors.
  3. Demand Letters: Intimidating official letters sent to suspected possessors.
  4. Random Prosecutions: Randomly prosecuting anyone caught possessing.

If you are a gun owner in New Jersey I suggest you spend time on Nappen’s web site reading these pieces.  While I do not know Nappen personally he appears extremely knowledgeable on gun issues and would be the Attorney I’d turn to if I found myself at odds with NJ gun law.

When are Democrats going to realize that these gun control laws only apply to law abiding citizens who legally purchased firearms.  Criminals by definition do not obey the law.  We’ve had gun control laws on the books for years and they have not stopped criminals from obtaining firearms.  All this high capacity magazine ban has done is restrict the ability of law abiding gun owners to protect their families.

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