Alabama Self-Defense Case Shows Need For "Large Capacity" Magazines

Alabama Self-Defense Case Shows Need For "Large Capacity" Magazines

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to make it a federal crime to own an ammunition magazine that can hold more than ten rounds, but a self-defense story out of Cullman County, Alabama is a perfect example of why the government shouldn’t be imposing arbitrary limits on your ability to protect yourself.


According to Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, a homeowner in the county was forced to defend his life after four men broke into his home early Monday morning.

The suspects were met by the owners who were armed. When they tried to leave, the suspects were followed by one of the homeowners and shots were fired. One suspect was hit and is being treated at a hospital.

Three suspects have been detained, counting the suspect in the hospital, and one suspect got away in their vehicle.

We don’t know how many of the suspects were armed, but at least one of them had a gun and exchanged fire with the homeowner, according to Sheriff Gentry, who praised the armed citizen for being able to defend themselves in a statement on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page.

“This is a great example of citizens utilizing their second amendment rights and protecting themselves and their family. I have often stated that law enforcement can be minutes away when you only have seconds to defend yourself and your family. That’s why we at the sheriff’s office are proponents of not only having a weapon for self defense but also being proficient in how to use it,”

I’m glad to see Sheriff Gentry’s vocal support for the right to keep and bear arms here. I just wish he would have taken it one step further and referenced the Ninth Circuit’s decision last Friday declaring California’s ban on “large capacity magazines” unconstitutional. After all, this case of self-defense demonstrates why a law-abiding gun owner would want and have need to use a so-called large capacity magazine in self-defense. As Judge Kenneth Lee wrote in his opinion in Duncan v. Becerra,


Law-abiding citizens trapped in high-crime areas where the law enforcement is overtaxed may defend themselves in their homes with a handgun outfitted with LCMs. And in incidents of mass chaos and unrest, law enforcement simply may be unable to protect the people, leaving them solely responsible for their own safety in a seemingly Hobbesian world.

Beyond the clear constitutional issues with magazine bans, there’s also a very pragmatic reason to be be opposed to the Biden/Harris plan to make possession of a “large capacity magazine” a federal crime. I had the chance to speak to J. Eric Dietz, director of the Homeland Security Institute at Purdue University about his research into the defensive benefits of larger magazine capacity. According to Dietz, computer modeling shows that the bigger the magazine, the greater the odds of surviving a home invasion like the one that occurred in Cullman County, Alabama. You can check out the full interview below, but here’s the most important part of what he had to say:

This is not really new. Anybody who’s got military or law enforcement time knows more guns in a gun fight on the friendly side are good and the outcome is usually better because of that. So I think this reinforces maybe our gut reaction to the magazine bans and the magazine capacity issue overall.”

Constitutionally speaking, a magazine ban is a clear infringement on the right to keep and bear arms by forbidding the possession of something that’s in common use (as Judge Lee noted in his decision in Duncan v. Becerra, more than half of all ammunition magazines in the country have a capacity greater than ten rounds) for lawful purposes. From a common sense perspective, a magazine ban inhibits the ability of law-abiding people to protect themselves and their loved ones. And frankly, from a criminal justice reform perspective, a magazine ban is another non-violent possessory offense that doesn’t fight crime but actually creates a criminal offense where one didn’t previously exist.


Of course, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris don’t care about any of those things any more than they’re bothered by the fact that under the Biden/Harris plan, this homeowner in Cullman, Alabama would likely face more time behind bars for possessing a “large capacity magazine” than the four guys who tried to break into his home would be facing for their alleged home invasion. The most anti-gun ticket in American history is fully on board with making possession of the 17-round magazine that came with your Glock a federal crime, even if their actions would turn tens of millions of currently law-abiding gun owners into outlaws overnight.


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