|AK-74 Rifle in 5.45x39|
Fast forward to the events of July 20th, 2012. A madman stormed a packed movie theater where he indiscriminately shot 70 people, killing 12 of them. He used a S&W AR-15 rifle with a 100 round drum magazine, a Remington 870 pump shotgun and a Glock .40 pistol (two were recovered).
The media and several politicians are now focused on two aspects of this tragedy hoping to enact future anti-gun laws to heavily restrict both semi-automatic firearms and "high capacity" magazines. Take a look at the recent Cyber Security Bill which carries an interesting proposed amendment -- a magazine ban reminiscent of the 1994 Crime Bill passed under President Clinton. The goal is to ban magazines over 10 rounds making it illegal to manufacture or sell them (or transfer grandfathered magazines) after the ban goes into effect.
Even if this bill goes down in flames future bills are certain to be proposed after the November elections. Once the elections are out of the way, stand by. We'll see a flurry of new bills being proposed and it only takes one to stick.
Thinking forward, how would a new magazine ban affect my choice of "go to" rifles? How might it affect future rifle purchases that took place after such a ban were enacted?
|A few of my long gun magazines|
If you're like me, you have a number of different rifles and handguns, most of which require proprietary magazines. Right now I'm stocking up on my most used magazines just in case such a bill were to pass Congress. I'm quickly realizing I don't have the financial resources to buy 50 of every magazine type necessary to feed all of my different firearms. I need to prioritize.
Let's take a look at my "go to" rifle. It uses AK74 magazines that at one time were cheap and plentiful. I have quite a few, but now I'm looking to buy for a lifetime. I need more. The price has jumped up considerably and the availability is very limited. I will also mention that ammunition import bans may be enacted as an incremental measure which would render my 5.45x39 AK74's mostly useless. Without imported ammo, the 5.45x39 loses its luster as a cheap blaster and affordable stockpiling alternative to 5.56mm.
I have a couple of options here. One, I can convert back over to 7.62x39. Magazines are still readily available and even if imported ammo ceases is cut off there are domestic producers of the ammo. Or two, I can switch over to 5.56mm and STANAG magazines.
I'm leaning towards a platform shift for my "go to" rifle. Right now the STANAG option seems to be the most viable given the situation we currently face.
|NATO standard STANAG magazines|
I highly recommend that you set a few bucks aside every month to buy magazines for your favorite firearms now, focusing on those that have magazine capacities of more than 10 rounds. I also recommend you take a look at your "go to" firearms and think about a platform shift if your rifle doesn't use STANAG magazines.