Guns and Hunting

The 15 States Where High-Capacity Magazines Are Outlawed

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June 7 was National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Gun violence is a major point of contention in the United States. While there is no denying that death and injury by guns is a problem, there are a lot of arguments on how to handle it. While some states want to outright ban guns, others are hoping to strike a balance by limiting magazine sizes (learn about the most pro-gun senators.) While a previous ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons was passed by Congress in 1994, it was allowed to expire in 2004.

High-capacity magazines enable shooters to discharge more rounds without needing to reload, reducing chances for victims to escape or for law enforcement to intervene. The Giffords Law Center, a gun violence prevention organization, has observed that high-capacity magazines have been a common denominator in almost every one of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years (these are the states with the most gun violence.)

Analyzing information gathered by the Giffords Law Center, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states that have implemented regulations on high-capacity magazines, and Washington D.C. was included in our analysis. 

Of the 15 jurisdictions listed, only two do not outright prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines. In Maryland and Washington, limitations on high-capacity magazines typically pertain only to their manufacturing, sale, and distribution, rather than direct possession. 

In several other states on this list, individuals who owned high-capacity magazines before bans were enacted are still permitted to keep them. However, in some instances, this may require obtaining a special permit or registration (see how gun crime is on the rise in Michigan.) 

It is important to note that there is no universally accepted definition of exactly what qualifies as a high-capacity magazine. While in most states on this list, magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition are considered high-capacity, some states set a higher threshold, ranging from 15 to 17 rounds.

These are the states with high-capacity magazine bans:

Why We’re Covering Gun Laws

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Guns offer Americans a way to protect themselves, and for this reason, many people aren’t willing to give up their weapons. However, some citizens believe that something must be done about them so they aren’t being used to injure the innocent. The rules surrounding guns and the view on them is ever-changing and it’s important to understand the laws in your state and across the country surrounding guns.


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California has a limit of 10 rounds for all kinds of firearms. These restrictions apply to almost all facets of gun ownership, including manufacturing, importation, keeping for sale, exposing for sale, offering for sale, giving, lending, and possession. For now, people are still allowed to own high-capacity magazines, but a new more restrictive law is set to go into effect in California that would limit even these.


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Colorado is a little more lenient than Colorado, allowing 15 rounds for all firearms. The restrictions are also only few a few areas of gun ownership, including sale, possession, and transfer. Additionally, all previously owned high-capacity magazines are exempt from the ban.


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Connecticut has a legal magazine capacity limit of 10. The limit applies to distribution, purchase, possession, importation and keeping, offering, and exposing for sale. High-capacity magazines already owned before the limit was put into place are allowed, but they must be legally registered.


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In Delaware, the limit is 17 rounds for all firearms. These restrictions apply to possessing, transferring, receiving, purchasing, selling, and manufacturing firearms. All high-capacity magazines are banned, even legacy ones. However, if you have a concealed carry permit, you are exempt.


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In Hawaii, there is a limit on magazines, however, the limit is only for handguns. Handguns have a limit of 10 rounds. This capacity limit applies to the barter, trade, gift, possession, transfer, acquisition, and manufacturing of handguns. Additionally, there is no exception for legacy high-capacity magazines.


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Illinois has legal magazine capacity limits for long guns and handguns. For long guns, the limit is 10 rounds. Meanwhile, for handguns, the limit is increased to 15 rounds. Restrictions apply to sales, deliveries, purchases, and manufacturing. Illinois also has a rule that the restrictions also apply to people causing someone else to sell, possess, deliver, or manufacture said magazines. Legacy high-capacity magazines are allowed but are limited to specific circumstances and locations.


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Maryland has a capacity limit for magazines for all firearms. The limit is 10 rounds. This applies to the sale, offering of sale, purchase, receipt, transfer, and manufacturing of magazines. There are no limits in place for people who purchased high-capacity magazines before the law went into effect.


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Massachusetts limits magazines to a capacity of no more than 10 rounds. This limit applies to all firearms. The restriction applies to sales, offering of sales, possession, and transfers. All high-capacity magazines purchased before the ban are exempt from the rules.

New Jersey

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New Jersey has a limit of 10 rounds for all firearms. This includes transportation, manufacturing, shipment, possession, sale, and even disposal restrictions. Some high-capacity magazines are exempt if purchased beforehand, but it’s limited to magazines purchased before July 13, 2019, and they must hold no more than 15 rounds.

New York

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New York also has a limit of 10 rounds for all firearms. This applies to manufacturing, disposal, possession, and transportation. No legacy high-capacity magazines are allowed.


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Oregon also has a ban on magazines, limiting it to 10 rounds for all firearms. The restrictions apply to transfer, importation, use, sale, manufacturing, possession, and purchase. There are exemptions for high-capacity magazines purchased before the limit was put in place, but they can only be used in certain circumstances and locations.

Rhode Island

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Rhode Island is another state with a limit of 10 rounds for all firearm magazines. Restrictions have been put in place for the sale, offer of sale, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possession, and even to have under one’s control. There is no exemption for legacy high-capacity magazines.


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Vermont has a limit on magazine capacity, limiting it to 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns. These restrictions are in place for manufacturing, sale, offer of sale, receipt, purchase, transfer, and possession. High-capacity magazines purchased before the ban are exempt.


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Washington is another state with a limit of 10 rounds for all firearms. Restrictions apply to distribution, importation, manufacturing, and sales. There is no limit or ban on previously purchased high-capacity magazines.

Washington D.C.

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While not technically a state, Washington D.C. has its own limits on gun magazines. The current capacity limit is 10 rounds for all firearms. The restriction applies to possession, sale, and any other form of transfer. There are no exceptions on the size of high-capacity magazines purchased before the law went into effect.

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