I’ve said before that any gun control measure needs to be battled in the courts. Anti-gun officials need to start factoring the cost of the inevitable lawsuits into their consideration of new gun laws. The idea is that before long, gun laws will stop being proposed to any significant degree due to the cost of not just implementing the law, but the inevitable legal challenge.
In New Jersey, it seems they’re taking that concept to heart.
Before the ink from Governor Murphy’s pen was dry on newly enacted legislation banning firearms magazines above ten rounds, Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) filed suit in federal court to overturn the new law.
“This unconstitutional law will be ignored by criminals and madmen, and affects only law-abiding citizens,” said ANJRPC executive director Scott Bach. “It turns one million people into criminals with the stroke of a pen, limits self-defense, and takes away property lawfully acquired,” continued Bach. “Buy it yesterday, ban it today, go to prison tomorrow – it’s the Jersey way, and the goal of our lawsuit is to boot this law, which makes no one safer, into the trash heap of history where it belongs.”
ANJRPC’s lawsuit highlights the many constitutional infirmities in New Jersey’s magazine ban. A federal court in California recently enjoined the operation of a similar magazine ban and ANJRPC believes New Jersey’s ban will meet a similar end – especially if the case reaches the United States Supreme Court. A link to the complaint in the case is available on ANJRPC’s website at www.anjrpc.org
The ANJRPC isn’t going this one alone, either.
It seems the National Rifle Association is throwing their weight behind this one as well.
The NRA said it is backing the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs in their lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, claims the new law could affect as many as one million New Jersey gun owners and is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. The NRA described the law as an undue restriction on law-abiding New Jerseyans and ineffective at fighting crime.
“Magazine bans do not deter criminals or improve public safety,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. “Instead, they irrationally burden the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The National Rifle Association is proud to assist the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs in this legal challenge.”
Cox is, of course, correct. Magazine bans do absolutely nothing to stop criminals. About all it does is get in the way of law-abiding citizens who want to carry more ammunition.
Ironically, though, what it does do is encourage many people to use more powerful handguns.
The thing for a lot of people is that they’ll carry something like a 9-mm for the ammo capacity. A Glock 17, for example, it carries 17+1 rounds. That’s far in excess 7+1 rounds the 1911 originally carried. Now, some 1911’s carry more rounds, and there are plenty of other .45 ACP pistols out there that have a higher round capacity but bear with me for a moment.
If you have a Glock 17 and have one because of round capacity more than anything, and you’re suddenly limited to just ten rounds, where is the advantage in your round choice? Sure, it’s cheaper to shoot than some alternatives, but how much is your life worth?
So, a lot of previously 9 mm guys will start switching to bigger calibers like .45 ACP. The idea is that if ten is their limit, they might as well have ten of the biggest, most powerful rounds they can get.
Yet another way magazine limits can backfire on anti-gunners.
Frankly, these lawsuits need to be heard, fought, and hopefully won. Even if this one isn’t victorious, that’s not important. What matters, at least in my mind, is that anti-gun politicians learn that they can’t trample on our rights without a fight, even if they’re the majority.