Opinion

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NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, revealed in a report that detachable magazines with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds are the overwhelming standard for firearm owners in the United States. The report, which surveyed 30-plus years of detachable magazine production and distribution, demonstrated that of the conservatively estimated 963,772,000 detachable magazines supplied from a firearm manufacturer and in the aftermarket, at least 717,900,000 have a capacity exceeding 10 rounds, the limit some states place for lawful magazine possession.

Detachable Magazine Report Findings: Capacity Exceeds 10 Rounds

The Detachable Magazine Report (1990-2021) confirms what NSSF has known – that the national standard for magazine capacity for America’s gun owners is greater than 10 rounds. With nearly 1 billion detachable magazines in circulation, for both rifles and pistols, they are unquestionably commonly-owned and commonly-used for lawful firearm use, including recreational target shooting, hunting and self-defense. They are “arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment. Detachable magazines are integral to the design of, and necessary for the proper functioning of, today’s modern semi-automatic firearms.

“The data establishes that law-abiding gun owners overwhelming choose magazines that have a capacity to hold more than ten rounds for lawful purposes including self-defense, target shooting and hunting,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel.

About 46 percent of the magazines estimated in this study are rifle magazines with 30+ round capacity. The percentage of detachable magazines at 11+ capacity is about 55 percent of total pistol magazines. The amount of 10 and below capacity rifle magazines supplied from the manufacturer is over one and a half times the amount of 30+ capacity rifle magazines. The consumer market totals of rifle magazines show 30+ capacity magazines, over 413 million, are over 30 times the amount available than 10 and below capacity rifle magazines, about 13 million.

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Further examination of the data proves that of the 717,900,000 detachable magazines for pistols and rifles with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, 209,145,000 pistol magazines are in circulation from combined sales through firearm manufacturers (those magazines included with the firearm) and aftermarket production. Rifle magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds accounted for 508,755,000 and rifle magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds or greater totaled an estimated 448,369,000 from combined sale of those included with a firearm at sale and the aftermarket.

Just 245,872,000 pistol and rifle magazines with a capacity of 10 rounds or less are in circulation when accounting for the magazines included with a firearm from the manufacturer and the aftermarket.

Detachable Magazine Report 1990 – 2021


About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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