Giffords Law Center Applauds Third Circuit for Upholding New Jersey Ban of Large-Capacity Magazines

 In a 2-1 decision, the court upheld New Jersey’s  law limiting magazines to 10 rounds

December 5, 2018 — Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence applauded a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today to uphold New Jersey’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines. In their decision, the court found that the New Jersey law fits the state’s public safety interest and does not impede on the Second Amendment. Giffords Law Center also submitted an amicus brief in support of the state law, which was cited in the opinion from the court.

Statement from Hannah Shearer, Staff Attorney & Second Amendment Litigation Director at Giffords Law Center:

“The Third Circuit’s decision to uphold New Jersey’s lifesaving restrictions on large-capacity ammunition magazines is a victory for public safety. We know that mass shooters, like the gunman who killed twelve at the Borderline Bar & Grill last month, want these accessories to make it that much harder for law enforcement to stop a massacre. It’s why New Jersey lawmakers stepped up to protect their communities by making it harder for dangerous individuals to use larger magazines. Restrictions on magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition have stood up against constitutional challenges in virtually every other federal court. Today, the Third Circuit added to that consensus by rightly recognizing that the Second Amendment does not stand in the way of trying to stem high-fatality shootings.”

The restrictions were put in place as part of a package of gun safety bills signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy this past June. Earlier this year, Giffords staff joined Governor Murphy at a roundtable event on gun violence prevention.

Related Resources:
Report: Economic Cost of Gun Violence in New Jersey

This comprehensive report, released recently by Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, notes that local businesses are severely impacted when gun violence occurs, as shootings keep customers and tourists away and often limit hours of operation. On average, there are 2,014 shootings in New Jersey each year, resulting directly in measurable costs of over $1.2 billion annually. That includes:

  • Healthcare costs: $93 million

  • Law enforcement and criminal justice expenses: $131 million

  • Costs to employers: $8 million

  • Lost income: $918 million

Much of this tab is picked up by the public. Up to 85 percent of gunshot victims, for example, are either uninsured or on some form of publicly funded insurance. Additionally, law enforcement efforts are funded entirely by taxpayer dollars. As a result, the direct annual cost of gun violence to New Jersey taxpayers is approximately $273 million.

Even more striking, when indirect costs that impact families and communities are factored in, the overall estimate of the economic cost of gun violence rises to $3.3 billion per year.

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