Magazine used in the weapon used in Arizona shooting was banned under Clinton-era assault weapons ban

I can’t imagine why anyone with good intentions would need a 31-bullet magazine for a pistol…

The high-capacity magazine of the semiautomatic pistol used in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and more than a dozen other people on Saturday would have been illegal to manufacture and difficult to purchase under the Clinton-era assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

According to police and media reports, the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, legally purchased a semiautomatic Glock 19 with a high-capacity magazine in November at a gun store in Tucson. Under the assault weapons ban, it was illegal to manufacture or sell new high-capacity magazines, defined as those that hold more than 10 rounds. The magazines used by Loughner had 31 rounds each, according to police.

Ed. Note: I’ve edited the title of this entry to more accurately reflect the fact that the magazine used in the shooting was banned under the Clinton-era gun control laws, not the weapon itself.

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  1. This could never be seen as a weapon for personal or home defense. All weapons which serve no purpose other than to kill should be banned from private ownership. Guns used by individuals such as this are rarely stolen guns. Giving them the weapon with which they can kill dozens of persons is too costly a way to find out they were mentally unbalanced.

    • Actually this is a fantastic home defense weapon. This gun is simple to use, has 3 integral safeties and takes little training to use effectively.

  2. Okay, copying and pasting what I wrote like an idiot in the other thread because I had multiple windows open for commenting.

    Guns is something of a strange subject for me. Because honestly? I have no issue with people owning guns, being licensed, and being responsible (and learning how to use said gun, so that you don’t hit the wrong target, should the time come to use it on your own property against a deadly intruder. I have gone through proper training and do so every six months. )

    The big issue here with guns is that gun shows are out of control. It’s seen as a fetish or a status symbol. A properly run gun show bans parking lot sales with armed guards on patrol to prevent it, only allows licensed gun dealers, requires all dealers to do background checks, record serial numbers, and IMHO bans cash sales. Too bad nobody runs on this. Meanwhile, there are people who run the shows just get their rocks off when people bring Uzi’s and other submachine guns because those are illegal to produce now. The gunshow loophole to me is the big problem, since many people get their illegal guns there to commit crime.

    There are also many people who don’t go to classes to properly use those guns. They wave them around, they collect guns to be ‘cool’ and it’s a statement. That bothers me, as someone who knows has learned how to use one. The fact is gun laws are so weak in many states anybody who failed all those these tests can still go to a Gun Show at the local civic center and purchase a firearm without any background check at all. These idiots go these shows for ‘home defense’ and never set foot in a gun range to properly learn how to use them.

    In case you’re wondering how out of control some gun shows are, here you go. Guns at gunshows they’re never supposed to be loaded. This may have been a gun range perhaps – but children are never suppose to handle a weapon that is loaded unless VERY CLOSELY SUPERVISED. That weapon sends a recoil on grown fit men, much less a little kid.

    I don’t think we need to ban guns as so much as smack down on those gun shows hard. It’s the alternate ways of getting them that is what has dangerous people get said guns. After all if they can’t get it legally, just go to a gun show and they have it.

    We need to separate the gun owner from the gun nuts, is what I’m trying to say if I haven’t clarified it. We shouldn’t punish the responsible people who own guns, if that makes any sense.

      • Zach, if you are attacked by a group of thugs, how many bullets would you like to have in your magazine? Conversely, how many bullets are considered the maximum that would ever be necessary to defend yourself in a given situation? And as far as misuse goes, a well-trained and practiced person with only 6 rounds and a bunch of spare magazines can do just as much damage as someone with a high-capacity magazine. So while you’re at it, lets ban training, practicing, and multiple magazines. Makes about as much sense.

        • Zach, if you are attacked by a group of thugs, how many bullets would you like to have in your magazine?

          I think that is irrelevant, you’re speaking in hypothetical situations, where you can somehow control your attackers. If a group of thugs attacked me personally I’d reach out to take my gun only to get ridden full of bullets from all angles because they could have the very same weapon with those lax regulations.

          On the contrary though, I think we should have more training and practicing, instead of yahoos illegally getting it.

          • It’s not “irrelevant” to the person being attacked, regardless of the odds. If they can shoot to cover, they have a reasonable chance of surviving such an encounter… much less so with limited ammunition. But by your reasoning, it really doesn’t matter what weapon they carry to defend themselves because they’re just plain doomed, so why even try? Therefore we could just as well ban all weapons. And yet the criminals would STILL have those same high-capacity guns because what do they care about following the law?

            • I’m not suggesting we ban weapons. We teach people to use them, to respect them, and remember it’s both a weapon and a tool for those who live up north or on a farm. We don’t just give willy nilly about them and hand them to you, we properly teach you about them. Knowledge is power. Have you read about the whole gunshows? That is where majority of the illegal guns come from in the first place because they constantly break their regulations.

              You’re jumping to conclusions, as it was shown in this instance — the heroes despite being scared for their lives jumped him and while they may have had guns they didn’t use them. ( Although I do remember one actually jumping in with his weapon, but not firing it. He luckily listened to reason and didn’t shoot another person with a gun that he mistaken for the person who did this spree. )

        • J, by all accounts the gunman was stopped from killing/wounding more victims because he had to reload his weapon. How many victims could have been averted if the gunman had been forced to reload after 13 shots?

          • How many victims could have been averted if the deranged gunman had been prevented from carrying a weapon at all? Too bad laws don’t work that way. But it’s nice to talk about… hypothetically. You can ban things all you want, and the criminals will still have them. Even the AWB does not make the possession or use of high-capacity magazines illegal.

            • J, don’t get me wrong….I’m not advocating for complete and total gun control which would prohibit anyone from possessing a firearm. Obviously that wouldn’t be in keeping with the Constitution; I’m just trying to understand what purpose a 30-bullet magazine serves, besides allowing crazed gunman to shoot more victims before reloading their weapons.

      • Well, Zach , you were the one that claimed 31 bullets was too many. I am asking you how many you think should be in a magazine.
        You must have a sense of what you consider too many and too few or else you would not say that 31 was too many.

  3. A gun should carry as many rounds as the owner wants. I conceal carry a glock 23d (.40 S&W) and it carries 13+1 rounds. You can ban high cap weapons but it it only takes at most three seconds to reload a ten round mag. I own a 22 round mag for the glock, which is equal to a 33 round 9mm glock mag. I believe its OK to own such a thing. Here is something that blows a lot of peoples minds. Owning guns can be a hobby. Why do I own a 22 round mag? Because I want too.

    There is no magic statement that any side can say that will win. I can say that had I been in the crowd there is a possibility that less people could have died.

    ~Adam Louisville Ky

  4. This might hit people hard, but the solution to the mass shooting problem is not banning high capacity magazines. The solution is concealed carry. The more people that are concealing weapons for personal protection, the better chance that when a wacko decides he or she is going to kill people with a firearm in a mass shooting, that a person who has concealed firearm will end the shooting by killing the gunman.

    Guns are not going to go away. When laws are enacted to take guns away (gun control), the only people that will have guns are the police, military, and criminals. That will leave the average person (someone who is not military, police, or criminal), an easy target.

      • Opponents of concealed carry here in Wisconsin claim that it will lead to Dodge City-like gunfights with bullets flying all over the place…yet, that didn’t happen here. Why not? Were they lulled into the belief that Clarence Dupnick would keep them safe? How did that work out for them?

        I don’t know why no one there had a gun to protect themselves. Trust me…I wish Gabby, or anyone else in the crowd, had been packing heat and dropped the son-of-a-bitch as soon as he revealed his inner monster.

        • And proponents of concealed carry claim that it will deter crime and stop things like this from happening. Since AZ is a concealed carry state. and the congresswoman had a license to carry, I would bet there were a few people with guns in the crowd.

          • From the descriptions I’ve heard, it sounds like she was ambushed. Not much can save you if someone with the means and intent to kill catches you by surprise.

            I think this incident will probably cause politicians to be more aware of their personal security and that’s a good thing. That doesn’t mean they have to be inaccessible to the people, but maybe just have a couple uniform officers close by. That is a more effective deterrent than the “what if” the concealed carry option brings.

  5. If you really care about ensuring public safety, I’m afraid ALLOWING concealed carry is not enough. We should actually make it mandatory, and furthermore, every citizen should be required to be carrying at least a dozen fully loaded firearms at all times, at least one of which contains a minimum of 31 rounds. Also, one person in ten should be randomly selected to perform the glorious duty of always carrying around a small thermonuclear device to detonate in emergencies. (they should receive proper WMD training first, of course.) This may seem excessive to some of you namby-pamby peaceniks, but remember, Jesus said right there in the Constitution that thou shalt protect thyself with WMD’s!

  6. @ proud progressive: Do you remember the Florida School Board shooting? The subject was stopped by a concealed carry person. I don’t imagine how me shooting would have killed more people but I can say it would have evened the odds a whole lot in stopping the subject. States with concealed carry give there citizens an advantage with out them even needing to carry a gun. The criminal will think twice before they victimize someone. Owning a gun does not equal criminal intent. I carry gun for protection of life. I don’t flash it around, I don’t do it for the cool factor. I do make sure I know exactly how to use it. I practice at the range plenty and I am well versed on state law. Not to mention that I had to go through intensive background screening before I was even issued a concealed carry license from the Kentucky State Police.

    • Adam, yes I remember the Florida School Board shooting, and it was stopped by an armed SECURITY GUARD. Not just somse schmoe with a gun. The lady who hit him with her purse, had a gun in her purse and how did that go? Arizona has some of the most liberal concealed carry laws there are, how did that work out for those people?

      Owning a gun does not equal criminal intent and I have never nor would ever say that. I do say however that I dont want random people “protecting” me.

      Here is my honest question for you. What if you were there and brought your gun out and tried to shoot Loughner, but missed and hit and killed someone? then what?

      • Better to be a sheep cowering before the wolf?

        “What if you were there and brought your gun out and tried to shoot Loughner, but missed and hit and killed someone?”

        That question illustrates the awesome (as in large) responsibility that goes with carrying and using a gun…there’s no escaping that.

        • True Roland and I agree, I also believe that MANY will take that responsibility seriously. The problem is what happens when someone doesnt? involuntary manslaughter does not seem anywhere near tough enough.

          • Whether or not someone has criminal intent plays a huge roll in what crime, if any, someone is charged with. If you had been at the Safeway when Loughner went on his rampage and you decided to try to stop him by shooting him…and missed, I don’t think there is a DA in the country who would prosecute you for it. One’s response has to be in proportion to the level of danger one is confronted with. Every situation has to be evaluated on its own merits.

            • which is one of my arguments against Concealed carry. If I am at the safeway with my son and my son gets shot by someone “trying” to stop him, he is still dead. To me that would be murder and I would want whoever shot him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    • Adam, what if there was a person who came late to the scene who did not see the events unfold? That person could assume you were the threat and if they had a gun, they could start firing at you. Then it turns into a shootout.

      Or what would happen if someone got the firearm away from the shooter before you showed up? That person now has the firearm and you see them with it. Not everyone is going to make the safe or correct decision in that example.

  7. How predictable. The rush-to-judgement theory that this gunman was an agent of the tea party didn’t pan out as much as y’all tried to make it so, so now you’ve moved on to guns.

  8. I would take 100% responsibility for my actions. I would still make an effort to stop a subject like that if I thought I could. I would have had the element of surprise and only had one target to neutralize. I hope you don’t think concealed carry people walk around playing police officer pulling out their piece and giving Dirty Harry style justice.

    You keep saying: “..this happened and how did that go”. That about like saying “Murder is illegal in Arizona and how did that go?”. Try this one on: Columbine and Virginia tech where both “Gun Free Zones” and how did that work out? Just because a state allows its citizens to arm them self’s in public doesn’t mean they will be at every event to stop crime. In Kentucky there is no legal obligation to help a 3rd party if they are in distress. Again carrying a concealed weapon is for protection of you life. And you have no idea if someone at the event in Tuscon had a concealed weapon on them in the crowd. Asking “how did that go” is just cynical and mean.

    Why is no one asking about how an event like this was held with out a police detail? I was recently at the swearing in ceremony of Louisville’s new mayor and there where lots of police. In fact I got to a lot of political events and I always see police. In no way to I want to start blaming them but it does beg to me asked.

  9. I am curious(because I don’t know) what does the law say about that? I would think it would also be murder but I would like to know how that is written in the law.

    I would also hope that in America you could meet your elected officials without security and police details everywhere.

    I just dont see how more guns equal less crimes, it makes as much sense to me as more cars equal less traffic.

  10. Also Adam, I am sure that there will be VERY responsible gun owners and concealed carriers. I would also guess that you will be one of the responsible ones. I am also sure that not ALL will be.

  11. If I hit an innocent bystander at worst I would see involuntary manslaughter. That’s pending I took a very very very foolish shot. One of the first rules of shooting a gun is to be mindful of your surroundings. What is next to your target and what is beyond your target.

    I guess its just good policy that any large event in Louisville has LMPD in the crowd. Louisville is the 7th safest large city in America.

    If owning a handgun becomes illegal (the supreme court has ruled it unconstitutional to do that) then good law biting citizens loose them. Criminals will ignore the law because they are criminals. They will get guns. The majority of non military non police people who have full auto weapons are criminals. Law abiding people don’t have them unless they go trough a hell of a process through the ATF to get a license to own one.
    Washington DC had a handgun ban yet it had the highest handgun death rate in America. I’m curious of what the future holds now that the ban was repealed.

  12. I would like to see that raised to a muhc more serious offense. There is one thing to be a good shot and do everything right. It is also another to be able to do all the right things when bullets are flying.

    I do not want to make owning guns illegal, I just dont know why most people need one. I also dont want people carrying in public places around me.

    I also dont know where you stop in terms of what guns are legal and which ones are not.

    • Well, it is treated the same as any other accidental murder. I don’t see why because a gun is involved that suddenly it is a much worse crime. I’m guessing you feel it is worse because you seem as though you don’t much care for guns.

      Interestingly, the legal definition of involuntary manslaughter fits this situation almost perfectly: “The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.”

      I can understand you not wanting people carrying guns around you. Here’s an analogy:

      “I do not want to make owning cars illegal, I just don’t see why most people need one when there is public transportation. I also don’t like it when cars drive near me when I’m walking around. I feel like someone might accidentally run me down (or maybe some wacko might deliberately run me down). Therefore, if you want to own a car and keep it at your house, then by all means have at it. That being said there should be extreme penalties for someone who does not take care of their car and someone gets run over accidentally.”

      Yes, I agree… involuntary manslaughter. 15 years.

      The problem with “drawing lines” is where to draw them and who gets to decide for everyone else? And by the way, MANY more people are run down by cars each year than are shot by guns. It’s ok though, because cars aren’t as scary as guns, and they serve other purposes besides killing someone, right?

  13. So the anti-Gun crowd rears it’s ugly head again. They will say anything to try to diminish our second Amandment rights.
    Let’s look at some facts, in our society if a person has a health condition that makes it dangerous to drive a car their name is in a register which prevents them from obtaining a drivers license. While not all people with mental problems are documented many are such as the lady that went into the KSL building and opened fire years ago. This incident sparked a debate about the mentally unstable being able to purchase Firearms yet nothing was done. It seems that the same group of people that would be more than willing to strip us of our second Amendment rights will not allow profiling of any kind, so rather than stop the Arab looking man at the airport we search an 80 year old Woman so we don’t offend anyone. There are people that have been convicted of felony crimes that were non violent and did not involve a firearm and they are not allowed to purchase or own a Gun so why don’t we as a society demand a little common sense in profiling when it directly effects public safety.
    I personally enjoy firearms as a hobby and I also keep them for self defense and I don’t really like the way people keep using the term “weapon” like it’s a dirty word. Sure Guns do make great weapons but then again so do my Golf Clubs, wanna piece of my nine iron?
    I could go on all day here but I just want to make one more point by stating a well known saying (when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns). Look how many Drugs are against the law yet hundreds of tons of them are smuggled into the country every year and it would be no different with Guns, there will always be a demand and someone will always supply. When the law abiding citizens are unarmed and crime increases to unheard of levels the Government will decide, in the name of our safety of course, to set up curfews, check points and implants and in the name of safety the freedom we love will just slowly disappear.
    I think everyone should take responsibility for their personal security in which ever way they choose but if you decide to carry a gun please take the time to become very proficient with it before carrying in public.
    Weather you like guns or not always stand up for the second Amendment because that is the right that gives us the means to protect all our other rights.
    God bless all the victims of violent crimes but above all….
    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

    • Lets be clear here, in no way is the 2nd Amendment a mandate for people to own and carry any weapon that they want.

      Speaking strictly for myself, I am not necessarily anti- gun but I think there has to be reasonable restrictions put on the ownership of them. I think hunting etc… is great and own whatever gun you need to do that. I also do not think its necessary to lock and load to walk into a culvers. If you want to own a gun you keep at home for protection, then by all means have at it. That being said there should be extreme penalties for someone who does not take care of their gun and someone gets shot accidentally. I do not know where to come down in terms of gun control but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

      That being said, with the NRA being so powerful its hard to even have that conversation in the public arena.

    • Mike,

      I support the Second Amendment, and I own guns myself, but I wish you could drop the whole ” first they’ll take our guns, then it will be curfews, implants, checkpoints”, etc. This is the kind of wholly paranoid, wildassed bullshit that unnecessarily gets people all crazied up.

      There is no vast secret conspiracy to take our guns away. I challenge you to name a single legislator anywhere in Washington DC that has proposed outlawing guns.

      Furthermore, Australia passed very restrictive gun laws in the mid 1990’s after a large scale public massacre, and 15 years later they still don’t have checkpoints, curfews, implants, etc. What they do have are restrictive guns laws, and a crime rate lower than ours.

      If you own guns because you think the government wants to tatto a bar code into your forehead, you’ve got them for the wrong reason.

      • Yeah it sounds a little “Orwell” for sure but dont underestimate how many Political leaders would love that kind of a world. Thats why you watch Govt. make some noise and Vote.

      • There is no vast secret conspiracy to take our guns away. I challenge you to name a single legislator anywhere in Washington DC that has proposed outlawing guns.

        Well, let’s see… I’m a federal politician with an agenda, but I know that the majority of the American people do not support some of my more “extreme” objectives. So… what to do?

        A) Go ahead and boldly declare what I would like to do, thus tipping my hand to everyone around me, getting voted out of office, and never accomplishing anything.

        B) Make moderated statements (aka half-truths or white-lies) so I don’t offend my base nor alienate everyone else, all the while introducing legislation and/or voting for anything and everything that moves us slowly in the direction of my agenda.

        And there you have it… the very nature of American politics: “boiling the frog”

        • J,

          Very diabolical, indeed.

          Given that America is, per capita, the most heavily armed nation on the face of the earth, and seems very determined to stay that way, I would estimate that the sort of creeping, stealth gun abolition agenda you envision would only take several hundred years or so to accomplish.

  14. It’s called a deterrent, if people with bad intentions know that they are surrounded by law abiding citizens that are carrying firearms but they don’t know who or how many the chances of them committing a crime decreases. Bad guys want a situation where they have the upper hand, when they find themselves equally matched or out matched they tend to retreat.
    Walk softly but carry a big stick.

    • Yeah, Mike, clearly the whole “deterrent” thing worked out well in Arizona, as the gunman who shot Rep. Giffords and the other victims was clearly deterred by the possibility of folks in attendance carrying firearms.

      After all, Arizona is a concealed carry state.

      • Tell me, what does work 100% of the time?

        It is a deterrent. It didn’t work in this instance, but deterrents only work on those who have the capacity to recognize them.

        There is no indication that Loughner possessed a healthy instinct for self-preservation or respect for the law or ability to employ logic or reason. Based on other mass murder scenarios we’ve seen play out before in our society, I believe it likely that Loughner intended to save one bullet for himself.

      • Zach, did Arizona having conceal carry do any harm? You could ban that, heck ban all guns, the gunman still would have found a weapon to use if he really wanted to.

  15. @ Zach, Adam stated that it takes up to 3 seconds to reload, and I wanted to amplify that a bit. I shoot a Kimber Ultra .45 cal in competition. Since time is factored into the overall score, with a little practice magazine changes can be done in one second or less. At that rate does it really matter how many rounds a mag holds? I think not.
    I agree with what was said earlier, that if you are forced into a gun fight ( and I believe that you should do everything possible to avoid those situations) more is better. I would rather still be alive at the end of such a fight with half a mag left in my weapon than run out of ammo in the middle.

  16. MISINFORMATION!!! The Glock 19 was NOT banned during the stupid meaningless Clinton ban. So called High capacity magazines (more than 10rds) manufactured post September 1994 were banned and some “evil” so called assult weapons features were banned. Get your facts straight before you open your biased mouth and considering your a person that worships at the Clinton alter you should know the Clinton Ban 1994 legislation word for word and every detail. In addition, knuckle head, a person during the 1994 to 2004 unconstitutional years could still buy an endless amount of “pre-ban” high capacity magazines anyway. Your Clinton Ban was stupid when adopted into law AND now your point is invalid and, as a liberal always does, is created on false information. Remember not all of America is filled with mindless liberals, so when you make statements you will be called out by the thinking Americans STILL in the majority (check last election results, DUHH?).