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ANJRPC v NJ - Magazine size limits & seizures


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The questions presented are:


1. Whether a blanket, retrospective, and confiscatory law prohibiting ordinary law-abiding citizens from possessing magazines in common use violates the Second Amendment.


2. Whether a law dispossessing citizens without compensation of property that was lawfully acquired and long possessed without incident violates the Takings Clause.


Magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition are standard-issue for some of the most popular handguns and long guns used for self-defense. They are typically owned by law-abiding citizens for all manner of lawful purposes, including self-defense, sporting, hunting, and pest control. ... Indeed, the most popular handgun in America -- the Glock 17 pistol -- comes standard with a 17-round magazine. ... And the standard-issue weapon for law-enforcement officers in New Jersey and elsewhere -- the Glock 19 pistol -- comes standard with a 15-round magazine. ... In the past two decades alone, millions of Americans have lawfully purchased firearms with magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, and hundreds of millions of such magazines are currently in circulation.


In 1990, New Jersey began to regulate magazine capacity, criminalizing the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition. ... Nearly 30 years later, and after this Court clarified that the Second Amendment protects individuals rights in Heller, in 2018, it enacted an even more restrictive law, lowering the permissible magazine capacity to 10 (with very few and limited exceptions) for both handguns and long guns. ... In doing so, New Jersey became the eighth state to ban magazines with the capacity to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, following California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.


Unlike the now-repealed federal law and the laws of most of the states that restrict magazine capacity, New Jersey's ban is not merely prospective; it is retrospective and confiscatory. Law-abiding citizens who lawfully obtained the now-banned magazines and have lawfully possessed them safely and without incident for decades must dispossess themselves of their magazines by (1) surrendering them to law enforcement, (2) transferring or selling them to someone who can lawfully own them, (3) permanently modifying them to accept 10 rounds or fewer, or (4) rendering them inoperable. ... Failure to take one of those steps is a crime, carrying up to a 10-year sentence and $150,000 in fines.


ANJRPC = Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs

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