Magazine Capacity Laws by State

Firearms and gun culture are important aspects of the United States and are widely common in the life of Americans. Protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, gun ownership is a constitutional right. Yet, many other laws may apply that also regulate the manufacture, transport, trade, possession, and destruction of firearms. These laws can be enacted at different levels: from the federal level to the state level to the local level. Magazine capacity laws are one of these gun regulations. Magazine capacity laws refer to any law that regulates the number of bullets that a magazine cartridge which will be used to fire a weapon can hold. Any magazine that holds ten or more bullets is considered to be a High capacity magazine. High capacity magazines can be used with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, which includes handguns.

Gun Magazine

The gun magazine is a storage unit for a gun’s ammunition that directly feeds the device bullets. Gun magazines can come in various forms, such as a fixed one which is integral to the gun or a detachable one which attaches externally, these magazines typically hold more bullets – anywhere from 10 to 45 rounds. The gun magazine often can be confused with a clip for the magazine, the clip is a device which holds multiple bullets together as a unit to then be inserted into a magazine or directly to a gun, it makes reloading much faster. The clips can store as a unit rounds anywhere from 10 bullets to be inserted into a magazine.

High Capacity Magazine Ban

High capacity magazines, meaning a magazine capable of storing more bullets than a normal magazine, have garnered a lot of attention over the years, for a number of reasons. One being the actual need for the public to own, let alone have access to high capacity magazines. Another would be the use of these magazines in mass murders, like in an unfortunate high number of school shootings. All of which has led many advocates of gun safety to call for an overall ban on high capacity magazines, citing the aforementioned reasons, among many others.

The last federal law that banned the usage of High capacity magazines expired in 2004 and was not renewed. However, due to a loophole in the law that permitted the use of High capacity magazines owned or manufactured prior to 1994, it isn’t clear that it was successful in reducing the amount of High capacity magazines in circulation, although the law did reduce the usage of High capacity magazines in violent crime.

In the country, there are a small minority of states that have magazine bans, and of those states, most of them also have a ban that outlaws owning an assault weapon. How individual states tend to ban High capacity magazines varies. For instance, some states only ban High capacity magazines that are intended to be used on handguns. Other states do not allow their residents to continue to own High capacity magazines that were either manufactured or owned prior to the bans going into effect, while others yet do all this in the same way that the 1994 federal High capacity magazine ban did.

Washington State, for instance, has issued a high capacity magazine ban and the legality of this ban is going to be debated in court, as some claim it is unconstitutional – this eight-day court trial will start on December 4th, 2023. Other similar bans have occurred in other places in the U.S., such as one of the nation’s most populous states, California. The Golden State settled a law that made high capacity magazines illegal.

To learn more about magazine capacity laws, survey the data in the charts.

Magazine Capacity Laws by State

Alabama - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Alaska - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Arizona - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Arkansas - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

California - Magazine Capacity Laws

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Yes

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prohibited

Colorado - Magazine Capacity Laws

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Yes

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allowed

Connecticut - Magazine Capacity Laws

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Yes

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permit required

Delaware - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Florida - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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prohibited

Georgia - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Hawaii - Magazine Capacity Laws

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Yes

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permit required

Idaho - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Illinois - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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prohibited

Indiana - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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permit required

Iowa - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Kansas - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Kentucky - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Louisiana - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Maine - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Maryland - Magazine Capacity Laws

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Yes

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permit required

Massachusetts - Magazine Capacity Laws

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do_not_disturb_on

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Yes

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permit required

Michigan - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Minnesota - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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permit required

Mississippi - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Missouri - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Montana - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Nebraska - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Nevada - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

New Hampshire - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

New Jersey - Magazine Capacity Laws

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do_not_disturb_on

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Yes

HANDGUN OPEN CARRY STATUShelp

permit required

New Mexico - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

New York - Magazine Capacity Laws

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do_not_disturb_on

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Yes

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prohibited

North Carolina - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

North Dakota - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Ohio - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Oklahoma - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Oregon - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Pennsylvania - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Rhode Island - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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permit required

South Carolina - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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permit required

South Dakota - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Tennessee - Magazine Capacity Laws

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do_not_disturb_on

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No

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permit required

Texas - Magazine Capacity Laws

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do_not_disturb_on

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No

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allowed

Utah - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Vermont - Magazine Capacity Laws

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Yes

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allowed

Virginia - Magazine Capacity Laws

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do_not_disturb_on

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No

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allowed

Washington - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

West Virginia - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Wisconsin - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

Wyoming - Magazine Capacity Laws

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No

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allowed

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