Maryland: Criminal Use of ‘High Capacity’ Magazines Up Following Ban on Sales

Associated Press
Associated Press

Maryland banned the sale and manufacture of “high capacity” magazines in 2013, and criminal use of such magazines is now at a seven-year high.

The ban was contained in the Firearm Safety Act of 2013. Law enforcement figures gathered by The Trace, a gun control journalism outlet, show that the criminal use of “high capacity” magazines jumped in 2013 and continued to climb in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

In other words, when Democrats barred law-abiding citizens from buying the magazines, criminals took greater advantage of the added firepower. According to The Trace, “Baltimore police say larger magazines have surged in popularity among criminals.”

Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith said, “We’re dealing with absolute criminals who want as much weaponry as possible when they’re going after their targets. They’re not carrying .22s. They’re carrying the big guns that have these high capacities”:

Baltimore police confiscated nearly 450 guns last year with enough room in the magazine to carry at least 11 rounds — high-capacity, as defined by the state — more than during any period in at least the last seven years. Twenty-two percent of all recovered firearms were equipped with a high-capacity magazine, a 4 percentage point increase over 2013, the year the ban was adopted.

In addition to a ban on the sale and manufacture of “high capacity” magazines, the Baltimore Sun reports that the body of gun controls contained in the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 also requires would-be handgun purchasers to submit fingerprints to the state police. Fox News reports that the Act puts in place a ban that covers “45 types of assault weapons.” Nonetheless, the Sun reports that the city’s two deadliest years on record, 2015 and 2016, occurred after all the gun controls were passed.

On August 25, 2014, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence President Vincent DeMarco wrote, “In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor O’Malley signed into law a landmark new gun violence prevention measure, the Firearm Safety Act, which is already saving lives in our state. We believe it should be a model for the nation.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.