Do Extended Magazines Facilitate Mass Shootings?

Do Extended Magazines Facilitate Mass Shootings?

Gun Rights

A law enforcement official stands at an entrance to a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting last week in Virginia Beach, Va. The man who killed 12 people in a municipal building on Friday in Virginia Beach, Va., fired many rounds — "well into the double digits" — and when officers caught up with the suspect, it took a "long gun battle" to stop him, according to Police Chief James Cervera. One reason may have been the suspect’s gear. Authorities recovered a .45-caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines that were emptied, Cervera said at a weekend news conference. "The suspect was reloading extended magazines in that handgun, firing at victims throughout the building and at our officers." An extended magazine is essentially a metal sleeve that holds more bullets than a gun’s normal capacity. "It allows someone to shoot more rounds before they’re forced to reload the gun," says former ATF special agent David Chipman, who’s now a senior policy adviser for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The center is named for former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was nearly killed in 2011 by a gunman using a pistol equipped with a 33-round magazine. Chipman believes extended magazines increase the deadliness of inexperienced shooters, especially those who haven’t practiced reloading under fire. "We did not carry [extended magazines] on the SWAT team," Chipman says. "But they do transform someone determined to kill into being much more efficient at doing that." Extended magazines have been […]

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