24 State AGs Urge Supreme Court to Review New Jersey Law That Limits Magazine Capacities

May 31, 2021 Updated: May 31, 2021

A coalition of state attorneys general is urging the Supreme Court to review a court decision that upholds New Jersey’s ban on gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Twenty-four state attorneys general filed a friend of the court brief on May 28, arguing that New Jersey has criminalized citizens for possessing weapons that are commonly used in self-defense, and such a ban is inconsistent with the Second Amendment. The filing was spearheaded by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The group says that the magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are permitted in 43 states and are considered “standard equipment for many commonly used handguns designed for self-defense.” Under the 2018 New Jersey law, it is illegal to produce, transport, sell, or otherwise dispose of magazines with more than a 10-round capacity, which has been characterized as a “large-capacity magazine.”

The law was upheld by the 3rd Circuit last year after a New Jersey gun association and two individuals challenged the ban. The association asked the full court of the 3rd Circuit to hear the case, but the review was denied in an 8–6 vote. The plaintiffs are now asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.

“New Jersey lawmakers are operating in total ignorance of our ability to protect ourselves and our families,” Brnovich said in a statement. “We hope the Supreme Court will hear this case and reverse this misguided attempt to erode our rights.”

In the brief, the attorneys general also argued that the 3rd Circuit’s ruling is inconsistent with prior Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment.

“The Third Circuit erroneously applied an interest balancing test—an approach this Court already rejected—when considering whether New Jersey’s ban of the Affected Magazines violates the Second Amendment,” the attorneys wrote (pdf).

The New Jersey attorney general’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Other states that signed onto the brief include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The Biden administration is seeking to further tighten gun restrictions and introduce measures across the country seeking to control the sale and use of guns and firearm parts such as magazines. President Joe Biden has previously declared shootings a “public health crisis.”

The Justice Department (DOJ) on May 7 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that the department said would “modernize the definition” of frame or receiver and close a regulatory loophole related to “ghost guns.”

Following a mass shooting in San Jose, California, last week, Biden issued a statement calling on Congress to take “immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.”

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