On July 28 the Los Angeles City Council voted to limit ammunition magazine size to the same 10-round capacity Elliot Rodger used in his 2014 Santa Barbara attack.
According to the LA Times, Los Angeles residents “will have 60 days to remove, surrender or legally sell or transfer [all magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds] after the city ordinance goes into effect. Breaking the law will be a misdemeanor.”
Councilman Paul Krekorian (D-2nd Dist.) pushed the ban, saying, “People who want to defend their families don’t need a 100-round drum magazine and an automatic weapon to do it, imagine what a gunman on this sidewalk could do with that kind of firepower.”
The ban was also supported by Juliet Leftwich of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Leftwich suggested magazines with a capacity of higher than 10 rounds are “the common thread” tying “almost all of the mass shootings that have devastated the country [together].”
Opponents of the ban argued that higher capacity magazines are necessary tools for homeowners who may face armed invasion from more than one suspect. If two suspects enter a home and both are armed with a 10, 15, or 30-round magazine, the homeowner limited to 10 rounds is already at disadvantage. Moreover, opponents argued that a 10-round magazine limit will in no way prevent individuals from acting out their criminal intentions.
Following the heinous attack on the Virginia Tech campus–in which Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on April 16, 2007 using 15-round magazines–a Virginia Tech review panel examined whether magazine capacity limits would have made any difference in the attack. They determined using 10-round magazines instead of those holding 15-rounds “would have not made that much difference in the incident.”
Why? Because his victims were unarmed, and therefore a captive target, and also because someone with criminal intent will simply buy more 10-round magazines to make up for the shortfall from a ban on magazines with 15-round capacity.
Case in point, when Elliot Rodger opened fire in Santa Barbara on May 23, 2014–shooting and killing three–he used only 10-round magazines. After Rodger was dead, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said law enforcement found 41 “loaded 10-round magazines” in Rodger’s car.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.