Unconstitutional New Jersey Magazine Law Reverses Ban on Tube Fed .22 Rifles

Opinion

The Marlin .22 shown above was legally an “assault weapon” in New Jersey from 1990 to 2018

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- -On June 13, 2018, the New Jersey Legislature ratcheted up its already dubious ban on standard capacity magazines of more than 15 rounds. The new infringement banned possession of standard capacity magazines of more than 10 rounds. The law was immediately challenged in court.

On 5 December, 2018, a three judge panel of the Third Circuit ruled the law was Constitutional, because the Second Amendment is a second rate right in the Bill of Rights.

The previous law in New Jersey had banned semi-auto .22 rimfire rifles with tubular magazines that held more than 15 rounds.  It was enacted in 1990.

The 1990 law effectively banned numbers of common .22 rimfire hunting rifles in New Jersey. Those included many Marlin model 60 versions, .22 short versions of the Browning semi-auto, Remington 552 rifles, Remington 550 rifles, and any other .22 rimfire with a tubular magazine that holds more than 15 rounds of .22 ammunition.

The law was not a paper tiger. In 1993, Joseph Pelleteri had one of the Marlin .22 rifles that he had won in a contest at a police department. The magazine held 17 rounds of .22 Long Rifle. He was convicted of illegal possession of an assault weapon. He appealed. The appeals court upheld his conviction.

The Judge presiding over his case refused to even inform the jury that Mr. Pelleteri claimed he never read the owners manual and had no idea that the rifle was subject to the “assault firearms” ban and the appellate division affirmed the decision: “Defendant's failure to inspect the weapon or read the owner's manual to determine whether it fell within the statutory definition was unreasonable as a matter of law. We find no error in the trial judge's refusal to submit the issue to the jury.”

In 2018, banning .22 rifles with tubular magazines that held over 10 rounds would turn huge numbers of owners of .22 rifles into felons, overnight. It never bothered the New Jersey legislature before.

Someone with a little bit of knowledge [or by mere accident] managed to insert a change in the law that makes sense.

Instead of continuing the ban on .22 rimfire semi-autos that can hold 15 rounds or more, they removed the magazine limit for .22 rimfire semi-autos with tubular magazines. Here is the new law. From njleg.state.nj.us (bold added):

(4) A semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding [15] 10 rounds. “ Assault firearm” shall not include a semi-automatic rifle which has an attached tubular device and which is capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

(snip)

 y.  “Large capacity ammunition magazine” means a box, drum, tube or other container which is capable of holding more than [15] 10 rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously and directly therefrom into a semi-automatic firearm. The term shall not include an attached tubular device which is capable of holding only .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

The law effectively repealed the 1990 ban on numerous .22 sporting rifles.

It is too late for Mr. Pelleteri and others. They won't get back their lost freedom, tens of thousands in legal costs, or their right to keep and bear arms. For 28 years, from 1990 to 2018, gun owners in New Jersey have been victimized by a silly law passed by an ignorant legislature.

The current law is being appealed to the Supreme Court. There is a small chance the court will take the case (grant certiorari). If they do, there is a good chance they will rule the whole massive infringements of the New Jersey magazine bans as unconstitutional.

That is what should happen. In the last ten years, since the McDonald decision, the Supreme Court has declined to grant review to at least 88 Second Amendment cases, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  The Court only accepts about 80 cases each year, about one percent of the cases filed for Supreme Court review.

Maybe the Court will grant a writ of certiorari for the New Jersey case, but I wont be betting on it.


Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Adam
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Adam

Rhode Island is heading the way of the dumb dumb bird also! I’m thinking it’s time to sell my house to a ms13 gang or some type of religious fanatics and move to a more constitutional carry state and the state of RI can figure out why their state is being overrun with illegal guns, illegal aliens and religious fanaticism!! Oh wait I’m already seeing it now! Lately I’m feeling like a stranger or tourist in the very state I grew up in! Just this week alone I’ve had about 10 different people start talking to me and I didn’t… Read more »

Don trump
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Don trump

Americans will be called upon to exercise the second amendment for which the founders intended. Destroying the unelected black robes

Larry B.
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Larry B.

Bottom line?… ya gotta be ready to die. Ya gotta be ready to die anyway under ‘any’ circumstances.
“Require those who make the laws be the ones to break down the doors.” Then we’ll see how soon these punk bastard gun haters melt into obscurity and the Second Amendment regains its status as an uncontested right of the uniquely free American person/citizen.
And ‘no,’ I certainly am no hero, nor do I want to be. I just want to be left alone.
“One of the most cherished of all rights is the right to be left alone.”
― Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

Brandon White,VA
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Brandon White,VA

AMENDMENT II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. ?????????? Is that not what is happening why are the gun owners of this country not standing together and fighting for there rights? The NRA is doing the best they can but the everyday gun owners should take to the streets and and stand in front of the white house and say hell no!! It won’t be long before we can’t own a pop gun good God I bet people wish… Read more »

Jim Macklin
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Jim Macklin

To be accurate, the Second Amendment was drafted and sent to the States for ratification in 1789. It took two years before the States ratified the Bill of Rights. Things were written with feather quill pen and ink. But the amendment sent by Congress had ONE COMMA. The extra two commas were just an accident, somebody added them so a speaker could take a breath. With the extra commas it is possible to read ( the militia shall not be infringed }. The World Book and Britannica used one comma for a hundred years, but sometime in the late 1960s… Read more »

Len
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Len

I would not be sad to see the entire panel if tge third circuit go to lunch together and suffer z fatal car crash, or e-coli or ebola. Somethjng deserving of a second rate court of appeals!

Kenny Smith
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Kenny Smith

A little bit at a time, the leftists will end up taking our gun rights away which is immoral as pelosi would say , and we will end up like China or somewhere similar. Because we don’t have enough decent people left to help us win this silly little war !

Jim Macklin
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Jim Macklin

“The law was not a paper tiger. In 1993, Joseph Pelleteri had one of the Marlin .22 rifles that he had won in a contest at a police department. The magazine held 17 rounds of .22 Long Rifle. He was convicted of illegal possession of an assault weapon. He appealed. The appeals court upheld his conviction.”

Sounds like entrapment

Jim Macklin
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Jim Macklin

The Third Amendment is definitely a third class right. Maybe the government can require that home owners and renters take on two to five “guests” who would be US Army, National Guard or State Police.

The HELLER and McDonald Courts declared that strict scrutiny was required which means that all 10 amendments are equal rights.

Maybe a the court thought they were deciding on rites? Face to the East, bow down and kiss the Governors ass?
Look up and kis the Judges too.

JR
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JR

Step by step, inch by inch. Wait until the first amendment becomes 2nd class. In many ways the 4th already has.

Robert Thomas
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Robert Thomas

New Jersey is a toilet. Flush it already.

Boz
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Boz

I flushed it 45 years ago.

Gunrunner
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Gunrunner

So is a lever action considered a semiauto? Is a Wichester lever action that can hold say 8 rounds of 357 and 11 of 38 now illegal, as it is tube fed? All very confusing?

SK
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SK

I was thinking the same thing. My tube fed Remington pump .22 holds about 15 or 16 long rifle.

BillD
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BillD

If it can hold more than 10 rounds it would be illegal as it is NOT a .22 rimfire. That is the ONLY caliber that was exempted.

Jeffersonian
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Jeffersonian

“No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed”

grim reaper
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grim reaper

Does that Garden State Logo come from growing nuts?

james
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james

Chip away one small part at a time, that is how they do it, look to history, they will never stop.

james
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james

Over ten, then over five then NONE.

JohnV
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JohnV

Are you sure this covers the previous ban? Laws have to be repealed before they go away. Sounds like a ploy to put more honest citizens in jail to reduce the risk of being a criminal

Wayne Renniger
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Wayne Renniger

Really? Ban large capacity Mags? For Shame! I can and you can too, switch out a 10 round capacity mag in seconds! This true, than what is the sense of banning large cap mags? Sure beats me!

freeillinois
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freeillinois

This is nuts!

Paul
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Paul

This is how we loose our freedom one law at a time. This is what happened to Venezular.

SuperG
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SuperG

And the federal government, stalwart protector of the Constitutional rights of its citizens, remains incompetent to the task and does nothing!

Paul
Guest
Paul

This is how we loose our freedom is one law at a time. the same thing happen to Venezuela.

Michael Lindner
Guest
Michael Lindner

Note that is the supreme court finds the 10 round magazine law unconstitutional, NJ will revert to the previous law, and those .22lr rifles will become “assault weapons” again. Will they invalidate *all* magazine restrictions? I doubt it.