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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 26, 2022 11:55 AM
From: Representative Kevin J. Boyle
To: All House members
Subject: Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines

A large capacity ammunition magazine is a magazine used in any type of firearm that has an overall capacity of, or can be converted to accept, at least 10 rounds. In some cases, large capacity ammunition magazines can hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition. That’s 100 shots that can be fired in rapid succession, one after another, without ever having to reload. While typically associated with machine guns or semiautomatic assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines can be used in any semiautomatic firearm that accepts a detachable magazine. Due to their ability to hold so many rounds of ammunition, large capacity ammunition magazines significantly increase the lethality of the automatic and semi-automatic firearms using them.

Tragically, these magazines have been frequently used in horrendous acts of violence. A prominent example is their use in mass shootings, including those that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut; Tucson, Arizona; Columbine High School in Colorado; Virginia Tech; Fort Hood, Texas; and Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As many as two-thirds of mass shootings may have involved large capacity ammunition magazines. But mass shootings are not the only threat posed by these pieces of equipment. 40 percent of law enforcement officers killed from 2009 to 2013 were killed by a firearm equipped with a large capacity ammunition magazine.

My legislation is former House Bill 1762 of the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. It would prohibit the sale, offering and exposing for sale, use, purchase, possession, and control of a large capacity ammunition magazine – which is defined as an automatic ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 15 rounds of ammunition or 5 shotgun shells. This legislation would allow Pennsylvania to follow the lead of other states such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New York that have limited the amount of ammunition in firearm magazine clips.

It is my hope that this legislation will help prevent future mass casualties such as those we have seen in mass shootings, as well as make our communities safer overall. Please join me in supporting the addition of this important safety measure.

Introduced as HB2621