Words by Corey Copeland
President Trump says, “America is truly a nation in mourning,” as he visited Las Vegas following the deadly massacre which killed 59 people. As the city tries to restore normalcy, high capacity magazines are the topic of national debate again.
It is important to note majority of the weapons used in the shooting were purchased at local Las Vegas gun stores. Gun enthusiasts and collectors alike boast large stocks of weapons. High powered weaponry is also embraced by Hip-Hop. “Banana clips,” “extendos” and “choppers” are a few references you will hear in rap songs today.
However,the Las Vegas massacre is a direct result of what happens when 30-50 round ammo magazines are put in the wrong hands. As Americans continue to look for answers, we all must consider the question, Do we really need high capacity ammo magazines? Those in favor of strict gun control say these types of ammunition capacities only increases the rate of bloodshed. Large capacity ammo magazines and accessories such the bump-stock are legal and available on the US market. Gun Control and the second amendment have been regular subjects within the US Supreme Court. Eight states currently have laws which restrict ammunition capacity to 10-15 bullets.
Over 1000 rounds of ammunition were recovered from Stephen Paddock’s home and hotel suite. Of the 23 guns recovered, majority of them were high-powered semi-automatic rifles. At least four were believed to be equipped with bump stocks. This particular accessory increases the rapid fire rate. Thus, semi-automatic rifles can be made fully automatic. Nevada is one of 42 states which allows the sale of high capacity ammunition magazines. The federal assault weapon ban of 1994, made it illegal for weapon manufactures to produce magazines which held more than 10 rounds. However, Congress let the law expire in 2004. California recently passed legislation which prohibits individuals from owning magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Maryland is one of the eight states with ammo restrictions. The law was revisited by the fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals. Ultimately they upheld the law, citing that high capacity magazines are most suitable for law enforcement and military purposes.
President Trump refused to answer questions on gun control during his Las Vegas visit.