PHILADELPHIA (September 24, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important legal brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the State of New Jersey’s ban on so-called “large-capacity magazines” that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org.
New Jersey prohibits magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Recently, a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that prohibition, so the plaintiffs have petitioned the full court to rehear the case en banc.
As recently reported, Judge Matey’s dissent in the panel decision cited FPC and FPF’s previous amicus brief extensively, to document the long history of repeating arms in America. FPC and FPF have filed another brief in support of the petition for rehearing en banc, supplementing and elaborating on the history the court has found useful.
FPC and FPF were joined by several professors of Second Amendment law, the Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, and Independence Institute. It was co-authored by Second Amendment scholars David Kopel of the Independence Institute and law professor George Mocsary. The coalition brief emphasized that the Second Amendment necessarily protects arms that have existed for half a millennium, have been among the most popular arms for a century-and-a-half, number in the many tens-of-millions today, and have been distributed in large quantities to the People by the federal government itself. Therefore, the brief argues, the Third Circuit should rehear the case en banc and strike down New Jersey’s unconstitutional magazine ban.
“We were honored to once again join with leading academics in constitutional and Second Amendment law to provide the Third Circuit with a thorough history of magazines and repeating arms,” said FPC Director of Research and the brief’s lead author, Joseph Greenlee. “Americans since the earliest days have valued the utility of repeating arms for the outnumbered defender, and there is no reason New Jerseyans should be deprived of those life-saving benefits now.”
- In 2018, New Jersey made it illegal to possess magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
- The plaintiffs brought this case, challenging the constitutionality of the magazine ban.
- A Third Circuit panel upheld the magazine ban in 2018. Then earlier this month, a different Third Circuit panel concluded that it was precluded from determining the constitutionality of the magazine ban because of the 2018 panel decision.
- Judge Matey dissented from the September 2020 decision, arguing that the court should hold the magazine ban unconstitutional.
- The plaintiffs have asked the full court to rehear the case en banc. FPC and FPF filed their amicus brief in support of the petition.
- The amicus brief argues that the ban should be held unconstitutional because magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds have been popular for centuries in America.
- FPC and FPF were joined by several professors of Second Amendment law, the Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, and Independence Institute.
- The brief was drafted by FPC Director of Research Joseph Greenlee, David Kopel of the Independence Institute, and law professor George Mocsary.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States—especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.