The Judge Said What?

B.L.U.F. — Judge Rudolph Contreras believes that banning magazines with more than some magic number is constitutional. This leads to another WTF post analysis of a Judge’s opinion.

The Question

Is D.C.’s LCM ban Constitutional?

The ban basically says that it is illegal to possess, sell, or transferD.C. Code § 7-2506.01(b) a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. The exception is for tube feed .22 caliber magazines.


Some context is in order to understand the gun law at issue. An ammunition feeding device, more commonly known as a magazine, “is a vehicle for carrying ammunition. It can be either integral to the gun or detachable.” Ocean State Tactical, LLC v. Rhode Island, No. 22-cv-246, 2022 WL 17721175, at *4 (D.R.I. Dec. 14, 2022). “Most modern semi-automatic firearms, whether handguns or semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s, use detachable box magazines.” Id. The magazine is simply “inserted into and removed from the frame of the firearm, much as an extra battery-pack gets swapped in and out of a battery-operated tool, like a leaf blower, for example.” Id. Magazines come in different sizes and have different capacities. Under D.C. law, a large-capacity magazine, or LCM, is simply a magazine that can hold more than ten bullets. “When a multiple-round device like an LCM is attached, a handgun becomes a ‘semiautomatic’ weapon, meaning that it is capable of rapidly firing several bullets, one right after another. However, the gun still requires a trigger-pull for each round fired.” Id.
HANSON v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 1:22-cv-02256, D.D.C. (2023) ECF No. 28

This duffus had to go out and find another judge who is just as ignorant as he is in order to make a statement as stupid as saying that attaching a “large capacity magazine” to a handgun makes it into a semiautomatic.

He is quoting the memorandum and opinion out of the District Court of Rhode Island. He had this to say about an “LCM” challenge.

In summary, the Court finds that the plaintiffs lack a likelihood of success on the merits, that they will not suffer irreparable harm if the law is allowed to take effect, and that the public interest is served by denying injunctive relief. Specifically, regarding the merits, the plaintiffs have failed in their burden to demonstrate that LCMs are “Arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment’s text. Moreover, even were they “arms,” the plaintiffs have failed to prove that LCMs are weapons relating to self-defense. There is no Second Amendment violation from the LCM Ban because of these two shortfalls of persuasion. The Court must therefore consider the LCM Ban outside the core of Second Amendment protection. The Court further finds that the statue is not vague. Because the LCM Ban is a valid exercise of police power, there is no “taking” requiring just compensation and, consequently, no violation of the Fifth Amendment. The Rhode Island General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, legislation to lower the risk of harm that results from the availability of devices that assist someone intent on murdering large numbers of people. This common-sense public safety legislation does not implicate the Second Amendment and violates no one’s constitutional rights.
Ocean State Tactical, LLC v. State of Rhode Island, 1:22-cv-00246 (2022) ECF No. 37

Judge John J. McConnell, Jr, chief judge of the District Court of Rhode Island

The Supreme Court has not said anything about magazines being arms, which is what allows this level of disingenuous reasoning. Regardless, reading the Ocean State Tactical opinion was an exercise in self-control. Breaking monitors does not do any good. As Mark Smith said in a video the other day, when the Judge is a Firearms person, it shows. In the same way, when a Judge is ignorant of even the most basic aspects of a firearm, we get hurt.

It is easy to tell when the state is lying when you have personal knowledge of the subject, it is harder when you are trying to figure out whose experts to trust.


As always, the state attempts to get a challenge thrown out in any way possible. Standing is always the first attack. In this case, according to the Court, the plaintiffs didn’t do an impressive job of addressing standing and the state didn’t do anything. Still, the Court decided that there was standing for the plaintiffs.

The reason for standing? [T]he Court finds that at least one Plaintiff, Tyler Yzaguirre, has demonstrated a substantial likelihood of standing because he was denied registration for a firearm on the ground that its magazine had a 12-round capacity…Hanson v. D.C at 10

It sounds as if the Court would not have found there was standing if not for that one plaintiff attempting to register a firearm. The fact that Rhode Island requires a registration is just another reason to hate infringing states.


The Court then proceeds to discuss how Bruen works, correctly. Then poses the question of merits.

… Thus, the first question in this case is whether the Second Amendment covers LCM possession. If yes, the second question is whether the District’s LCM ban is relevantly similar to a historical analogue. The Court holds that the answer to the first question is no. Although that alone resolves the case for the District, the Court will nonetheless proceed to analyze the second question and hold that in the alternative, the District’s LCM ban is also consistent with this country’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.
Id. At 10-11

I’m getting whiplash here. In the quote paragraph, the Court says that LCM’s are NOT arms under the Second Amendment right, but on page 14 says they are?

The Court is unpersuaded by the District’s exacting standard. Its position contradicts the conclusions that ANJRPC, Kolbe, and Duncan reached on this question. In ANJRPC, for example, the Third Circuit found that LCMs are “arms” under the Second Amendment because “magazines feed ammunition into certain guns, and ammunition is necessary for such a gun to function as intended.” 910 F.3d at 116 (emphasis added). The District’s logic, by contrast, would allow it to ban all magazines (not just LCMs)—a result even the District does not endorse here—because a firearm technically does not require any magazine to operate; one could simply fire the single bullet in the firearm’s chamber. See Ocean State Tactical, 2022 WL 17721175, at *12 (noting that “a firearm can fire bullets without a detachable magazine”). The Court will therefore follow the persuasive reasoning of ANJRPC, Kolbe, and Duncan in concluding that LCMs are “arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment.
Id. At 14

And here it is, this court is quoting from Heller II where the Circuit Court Recognize that whether LCMs are “in common use” is merely the beginning of the analysis.Id. At 15. This Court goes on to say The full inquiry is “whether the prohibited weapons are ‘typically possessed … for lawful purposes.’”Id. At 15 quoting Heller II

So, there is the first step. Are they in common use? Well, yes they are.

But are they in common use for lawful purposes? Well, yes they are.

But are they in common use for self-defense?

The Court isn’t sure.

This is one of the big games we see happening. The state constantly tries to change the criteria from “in common use” to “in common use for self-defense” and continues to define “use for self-defense” to mean actually using or firing the weapon.

In addition, they often times argue that the plaintiffs have to prove “in common use for self-defense” for each particular model. So while they might agree that AR-15 style firearms are in common use, they will argue that your particular make and model are not because only a few dozen were ever manufactured.

The District disagrees; it argues that LCMs are not in common use for self-defense for two reasons. First, it claims that LCMs’ military characteristics make them a poor fit for self-defense and take them outside the scope of the Second Amendment. Second, the District claims that law-abiding individuals do not use LCMs for self-defense because incidents where a civilian actually expends more than ten bullets in self-defense are “vanishingly rare.” Defs.’ Opp’n at 18. The Court agrees with the District on both arguments.
Id. At 16

I do not care if something has military characteristics. The government doesn’t get to tell me what is a good fit for me. In Heller the Supreme Court said as much: It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon.Heller at 2818 This means that we, The People, get to decide if something is a good or poor fit for our needs, not the state.

This is the same as the state telling us that we have to use a particular soap, for reasons.

Finally, the state, and Court, descend to saying that because civilians are have better fire discipline than cops, they shouldn’t be allowed to have “LCM”s.

We have the Court conflating “in common use” with “fired in self-defense” and the Court now goes on to say that since Heller mentioned weapons that are most useful in military service such as M-16s, if something else is useful in military service, it too is like an M-16.

I wonder if that means my military issue packs, webbing, and multi-tool can all be banned because they are “most useful in military service”.

Plaintiffs counter that “the Supreme Court’s precedents do not withhold protection from arms merely because they are useful in militia service.” Pls.’ Reply at 15. That may be true, but it is beside the point. Heller established that weapons that are “most useful in military service” are excluded from Second Amendment protection. 554 U.S. at 627 (emphasis added). “Most” is a superlative. A weapon may have some useful purposes in both civilian and military contexts, but if it is most useful in military service, it is not protected by the Second Amendment.
Hanson v. D.C. at 17

In Miller the Supreme Court found that an SBS was not protected by the Second Amendment because nobody had told them the military used it. This Court is saying in one place that Heller didn’t change Miller but here says that Heller turned Miller upside down to man that arms that are most useful in military service are excluded.

Here is where we find the issue. Another reference to Kolbe v. Hogan. This case is still used as “good law” even though the Supreme Court GVR’d a case back to the Fourth Circuit because it depended on the two-step shuffle of Kolbe.


That takes us to page 21 of 40. I’m stopping there. This judge managed to argue that LCMs are not arms under the Second Amendment because the military likes them and that civilians don’t shoot as badly as cops.

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By awa

3 thoughts on “<i>Hanson v. District of Columbia</i>, magazine ban is consitutional”
  1. Great work awa, wading through this……thick shit, takes a level of commitment most people do not possess. I greatly appreciate it.
    I have always said through the years that only two things in life scare me, one is an animal which believes I would make a great meal, and two, corrupt law enforcement. Now, after spending the last seven years studying second amendment rulings, gun law, and use-of-force law, and reading your work awa, I have to say there are three things, and the third is liberal activist judges, which legislate from the bench. And I believe that two of the three things have the intention of intimidation as part of the reasoning and logic behind the corruption. It’s not due to the lack of intelligence or ignorance, but instead due to tyrannical elitism which they believe is their right……on our behalf.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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