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AG Nessel Files Multistate Amicus Brief to Uphold State Laws Restricting Gun Magazine Capacity

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of 18 other attorneys general in supporting the District of Columbia’s (D.C.) efforts to restrict the capacity of firearms magazines within its borders. The coalition filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of D.C. in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, arguing that the district’s law that prohibits possession and sale of large-capacity magazines comports with the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. 

“Gun violence and mass shootings have devastated, and continue to devastate, families in communities all across this country,” said Nessel. "Common-sense regulations such as this are well within a state’s scope to legislate. I stand firmly with my colleagues in supporting state’s rights to restrict large-capacity firearm magazines in state law.” 

The case, Hanson v. District of Columbia, concerns the constitutionality of a D.C. law that allows for possession and sale of firearms magazines that accept up to ten rounds of ammunition, but prohibits larger capacity magazines. The case was brought by plaintiffs who claimed that the law violates their Second Amendment rights. A federal district court concluded that the plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits of that claim and therefore allowed the law to remain in effect while the case proceeds. The plaintiffs then appealed the decision to a higher court. 

In the amicus brief, the attorneys general collectively argue that D.C.'s large-capacity magazine law is a constitutionally permissible restriction. 

The amicus brief was co-led by Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. It was joined by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. 



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