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Attorney General James Backs Law on Large-Capacity Gun Magazines

New York Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of 19 attorneys general filed an amicus brief to support California law challenged in federal court.
Mayor Eric Adams and New York Attorney General Letitia James last April at a press conference. Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

New York's attorney general has joined a coalition of attorneys general in a bid to fight back against mass-casualty events involving guns.

Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of 19 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of a California law that restricts large-capacity gun magazines.

The case, Duncan v. Bonta, concerns the constitutionality of a California law that allows for possession and sale of firearms magazines that accept up to 10 rounds of ammunition, but prohibits larger capacity magazines, according to a news release. 

“Large-capacity magazines make weapons even more deadly and can lead to horrific mass-casualty events,” the Brooklyn native said.

“These dangerous accessories are intended to ensure the maximum number of bullets can be fired without the shooter needing to take time to reload. The pain, suffering, and loss of life that can be inflicted by a single shooter utilizing large-capacity magazines is horrific, which is why these dangerous accessories have no place in our communities. I am proud to step up and work with my fellow attorneys general to ensure this commonsense gun safety measure is not stripped away.”  

James and the other attorneys general argue that California’s large-capacity magazine law is a constitutionally permissible restriction.

They are asserting that states have widely adopted reasonable restrictions on the public carry, possession, and sale of many types of weapons, accessories, and forms of ammunition that are not suitable for self-defense and undermine the public’s safety.

The coalition also noted that large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are not “arms,” and they are not commonly used or suitable for self-defense.  

James and the coalition argue that California’s law is consistent with a historical tradition of regulating and imposing restrictions on new and distinctively dangerous forms of weaponry, and urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold this law. 

Joining James in filing the brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.