New Jersey Magazine Capacity Restriction: Now What?

A new magazine capacity restriction goes into effect today in New Jersey. The internet is on fire with cries of people, including many gun owners not in New Jersey, criticizing the law as unjust, unconstitutional, meaningless, unfair and worse. What is missing is much real practical advice for New Jersey Gun Owners. What should they do now? What should they do with magazines that have a capacity of over 10 rounds?

Unfortunately, while the law may eventually be found unjust and overturned, today it is the law. Second Amendment Organization is a staunch advocate of Gun Rights, but those rights are defined by our laws. We believe it is imperative that Responsible Gun Owners follow the law. In this case, that means the New Jersey Gun Owners should comply with the law… and fight it! Part of fighting it involved educating people about why these types of laws have little or no effect in regard to saving lives and why people might want or need large capacity magazines in the first place. 2AO is staunchly against magazine capacity restrictions, as stated in this set of Position Statements. Recommending that New Jersey residents comply with the law is not “compromise,” it is accepting the current reality.

 

Meanwhile, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs has posted an outstanding article that explains the law goes over the seven compliance options in detail. Those options are:

1. VOLUNTARY SURRENDER

2. RENDER INOPERABLE

3. PERMANENTLY MODIFY TO 10 ROUNDS MAX CAPACITY

4. LAWFUL SALE OR TRANSFER

5. STORAGE OF NON-COMPLIANT MAGAZINES INSIDE NJ

6. STORAGE OF NON-COMPLIANT MAGAZINES OUTSIDE OF NJ

They also offer some guidance on how to manage shipping the magazines in their article without running afoul of the laws, although it may be too late for that as of this morning.

SC Arms in Spotswood, NJ is one of many FFLs in the State who have been modifying magazines to be in compliance:

 S.C. Arms has been taking in 15,20,30 round magazines to make them NJ Compliant. This Process involves Disassembling magazines by removing the internal parts and fitting them with a universal block preventing the follower from accepting more then 10 rounds. This Process applies to all magazine types weather metal or polymer.

Alexander Roubian, of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, had this to say as the ban went into effect:

We recommend not destroying their legally-owned standard capacity magazines and store them with friends and family that live in a state that they are not banned. We are launching a campaign to urge the United States Supreme Court to take up a magazine capacity lawsuit and we are confident the Supreme Court will overturn this ridiculous law that does nothing for public safety and only affects law-abiding citizens.

Tony Simon, well known gun rights activities in New Jersey who runs Diversityshoot.com offered this advice on December 11th:

Obviously comply with the new law. Their mags should have been blocked already if not get them to a FFL today for storage until you can get them blocked.

Magazine capacity restrictions
Magazines being permanently altered to accept no more than 10 rounds at SC Arms in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, as community leaders echo each other’s sentiments on of the importance of not becoming felons and risk losing all of your gun rights, serving jail time and paying fines along with all of the other possible negative ramifications of violating the new law, Social Media is full of people publicly stating that they intend to not comply and of calls for “Civil Disobedience”. We at 2AO would respect the intention and actions of anyone actually performing true civil disobedience. A group or individual heading to a gun range in New Jersey this afternoon with standard magazines of a capacity greater than 10 rounds and publicly, proudly and overtly using them as a public act of protest, for example. Obviously, those persons would be risking arrest but they would also obviously be following in the footsteps of other great Civil Rights Protesters. Sneakily keeping magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds in your home and hoping you never get caught is not Civil Disobedience, it’s just being a criminal.

Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government or occupying international power.

 

The concepts of “active” and “professed” in this case generally don’t include simply posting a Facebook comment that “I tragically dropped all my high capacity magazines in a lake last week” with a winky face. We have no doubt that this law will continue to be challenged and believe that it, along with many other NJ Gun Restrictions are unconstitutional, but they are the law today. All gun owners in the US should be reminded today that the time to fight is long before the laws go into effect. The place to fight is in town halls at the ballot box and in the offices of our legislators and other elected officials. We not only need to be more organized and outspoken as a community, we also need educated and articulate grass roots advocates talking to those in their communities who are neutral on gun issues or even who lean pro gun control to bring them over to an understanding of our gun rights as a civil right that must be protected and can be exercised responsibly. Protecting these rights includes fighting against magazine capacity restrictions.

-Rob Pincus

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17 thoughts on “New Jersey Magazine Capacity Restriction: Now What?”

  1. This what happens when the rest of the country wouldn’t help support the the gun owners in California!!! Now, our stupid laws are being adopted across the country!!! Common since gun laws are what we call California Laws!!! Only law abiding citizens will follow the law. Prime example- Thousand Oaks shooting!!!!

  2. “1803
    Marbury v. Madison was the first instance in which a law passed by Congress was declared unconstitutional. The decision greatly expanded the power of the Court by establishing its right to overturn acts of Congress, a power not explicitly granted by the Constitution. Initially the case involved Secretary of State James Madison, who refused to seat four judicial appointees although they had been confirmed by the Senate.”

    You should learn more and talk less. Unconstitutional laws are never the law of the land.

    1. No one here is suggesting that the law will or should remain in place… but, it is in place today. Quoting legal precedents from 1803 that may or may not apply isn’t practical or relevant for a NJ resident today.

  3. John Locke, 1689 – all individuals are equal, they are born with inalienable rights, rights that are God-given and can never be taken or given away

    Rob Pincus, 2018 – rights are defined by our laws

    No wonder we’re in this mess. This article is trash.

    1. Certainly, you understand the difference between political theory (written in a time of slavery and long before women could vote or even own property in many places) and practical use of language, right?

      We have long spoken of our “rights being infringed” and of “fighting for the right to vote”, “equal rights” and even the “right to marry who we love” in this country. Those conversations are not about lofty political philosophy, they are about the very real limits put upon people by the laws they live under. That is the context of the verbiage in this article. -RJP

      1. So if slavery or women not being allowed to vote were still the law, this would be ok with you? It’s the law, and those people’s right are defined by the law, yes?

        What happens when your particular class of person is disenfranchised and indentured into servitude by law? Would you go into bondage willingly because that is now the legal thing to do?

        1. I think you’ve got it backwards, Mike. Because the things you mentioned were unjust, people fought to change those laws while they were in effect. In some cases, that is exactly where we are with our infringed gun rights. In regard to Bump Stocks, we find ourselves in a position to act before the unjust law goes into effect in March. -RJP

  4. Mr. Pincus,

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment that we should comply.

    If a law was passed allowing for violence to be perpetrated on others…just because it is a law does that make it moral? Acceptable?

    This is just one “inch” in the miles of ground we have lost in our fight for our own rights. To me, this is the point where a reasonable man (An individual who uses reason for decision making, not emotional arrival) says “No, I will not comply.”

    If I were in NJ, I would engage in civil disobedience and I would ensure the news media was there to cover it.

    1. That is a bold stand, which I can respect. If you really feel that way, why not build your own suppressor or convert an AR15 to full auto as an act of Civil Disobedience this weekend and invite the media to the range to see you demonstrate how you did it and how they work as you speak about the Unjust NFA and GCA Laws ?

      1. “If you really feel that way, why not build your own suppressor , , ,”

        What makes you think he, or I, or anyone else here, haven”t already?

        1. The lack of anyone owning their internet posturing.

          He explicitly said that “if he lived in Jersey…”… I was pointing out that he could take his brave stand anywhere in the country. It’s easy to be brave in the comments.

  5. It’s unacceptable to even suggest that people follow an unconstitutional law. You should be advocating and encouraging people to openly violate that law. Especially since about 1 million gun owners in NJ stood up and refused to comply. You may wish to consider having an orgization with more courage to stand on your behalf.

    1. It is a false narrative to suggest that gun owners in NJ are automatically not complying just because they haven’t “turned in” their magazines. There are many options for compliance besides turning them in… it is also unknown how many gun owners in NJ had magazines that would’ve been affected in the first place.
      Having said that, you cannot find a single 2A Organization that is advocating for people to break the law. In fact, by stating clearly in the article that I would respect a true actor Open Violation done in a peaceful Civil Disobedience action, 2AO has probably gotten closer to actually advocating for such a thing than any other organization that I am aware of.

  6. When you say ” those rights are defined by our laws” I think it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what a “right” is. The Bill of Rights doesn’t GRANT them, they exist. Our rights exist WITHOUT REGARD to the law. They are “self evident” and come from a higher power.

    n

    1. The problem with your response is that it ignores the common use of the word “rights” in practice.
      Did minorities not fight to gain “Equal Rights”?
      Did women not fight for the “right to vote”?
      Did out country not struggle with whether or not slaves had the “right to be free”?

      To suggest that the laws of our country do not define what it is our “right” to do without fear of punishment is disingenuous. For years, I have pointed out that our right are already ingrained (by unjust laws) and that we are fighting to regain them. This article is unpopular because it doesn’t play to the bravado and ego investment of many gun owners in the online community. It isn’t simply a “Molon Labe!” meme that empowers fantasies of freedom.
      The article shared relevant information from leaders of the gun community inside of NJ. You can’t find a single 2A Organization that is recommending people become felons… but, 2AO is being pilloried in some circles for explaining the options and recommending that people take the one they feel is best for them. That’s okay… leadership is harder than pandering or simply sidestepping the hard issues. -RJP

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