The Role Extended Magazines Are Playing In The Gun Control Debate

The Role Extended Magazines Are Playing In The Gun Control Debate

Gun Rights

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Police say the gunman who killed 12 people in Virginia Beach on Friday fired dozens of rounds and had extended magazines for his guns. They are used often in mass shootings. NPR’s Martin Kaste examines the role these accessories play in the gun control debate. MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: It’s not known yet how many rounds the attacker fired on Friday, but apparently, it was a lot. Well into the double digits is how Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera put it. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) JAMES CERVERA: I can tell you that it was a long gun battle between those four officers and that suspect. We recovered a .45-caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines that were empty at the time. KASTE: An extended magazine is basically a metal sleeve that holds more bullets than a gun’s normal capacity. And the question is, in a fight with police, how much of an advantage does this give a shooter? THOR EELLS: None. KASTE: That’s Thor Eells, a retired SWAT team commander, now executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association. He says, yes, an extended magazine lets you shoot longer before having to reload. But the thing is with modern handguns, reloading doesn’t really take much time. EELLS: The practical world suggests to us that to do a reload, particularly in a semi-automatic type of weapon, that that really is very, very minimal. KASTE: Others disagree. David Chipman was an ATF special agent for 25 years. Now he’s […]

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