Will Obama Issue an Executive Order Banning “High Capacity” Magazines?

The idea that the President is about to issue an Executive Order banning high capacity magazines is gaining currency. So much so that one of our readers received this heads-up from Midway USA. Larry Potterfield’s peeps are proactively¬†shipping “high capacity” magazines FASTER. Maybe Larry knows something we don’t. Check out the letter to one of his beloved customers . . .

Dear XXX,

We have been holding some products for you, waiting for other items to arrive so we could ship your order complete. However, we believe an Executive Order could be released any day prohibiting the sale of certain products such as high-capacity magazines and AR-15 parts and accessories. Therefore we have done a partial release of your backorders to ensure that any of these items and other items we had in inventory waiting to ship complete are all on their way, in case such an Order is forthcoming. You will receive a shipping notification shortly. Other items on backorder, that we have not yet received, are not affected by this partial release. We appreciate your understanding and your business. We always put Customer Satisfaction first and believe this action is in the very best interest of our Customers.

Sincerely, Midway
USA Customer Service

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

97 Responses to Will Obama Issue an Executive Order Banning “High Capacity” Magazines?

  1. avatarTotenglocke says:

    And where would he be claiming any authority to make such a ban? Sure, it would halt sales for a time (a few months? maybe a year?) but the SAF and other groups would destroy him in court and then we’d also have grounds to push for impeachment for intentionally violating his oath of office by issuing an illegal Executive Order to violate the Second Amendment.

    • avatarCrazed Java says:

      Part of doing business is accepting and mitigating risk. In this case, while an EO may seem unlikely Midway USA is covering their bases. Also, it’s a nice needling of their customers to make sure people are aware of how dire this situation might be.

      It’s a good twofer.

    • avatarRabbi says:

      I originally read the letter in a way that I thought that Midway was holding orders due to an expected EO. They are doing the opposite. They are shipping everything they can before a ban.

      • avatarbeanfield says:

        Kudos on getting it fixed quickly.

      • So what happens from a manufacturing and retail standpoint of all these companies that will not be able to sell inventory? And what will happen to us who own guns that have clips that hold 15 rounds? Doesn’t that effectively ban MORE guns than the ones on the assault rifle list?

    • avatartdiinva says:

      What good would impeaching him do? The Senate will not convict and then, like 1998, the Democrats will gain back the House.

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      Since when do I have to comply with a Presidential Executive Order? I don’t work for the President or the Federal Government. Executive orders are for “executing” the Office of the Presidency and the laws that Congress has passed.

      Private citizens and private companies are not bound by executive orders. Only the Federal Government is.

    • avatarensitu says:

      Zeke OWNS SCOTUS, and Zeke will simply add those named in the suit to his SECRET death list because SCOTUS has just ruled that US Citizins murdered by Zeke can remain SECRET forever

  2. avatarHoustorm says:

    Isn’t he saying that they are shipping what they can while they can, and not that they are holding anything back?

  3. avatarBrett says:

    Funny.. I ordered some “high capacity” magazines from midway last week and all of them are currently making their way through the postal system as we speak. I even received two of them last week.

    • avatarTaurus609 says:

      Funny…I ordered a total of four Pmags from them two weeks ago and they are on backorder, with a 2/10/13 arrival date. Wonder how your order got ahead of mine!

      • avatarjustin says:

        yeah, I’ve got a back order of 8 (6 PMAG & 2 TROY) magazines and a 75 round AK drum since December. And they have only sent me 2 of the Pmags that are suppose to arrive this week.

    • avatarTaurus609 says:

      And my order was for standard 30 round mags, NOT high capacity. Since my Sig AR came with a 30 round magazine, that must mean that a 30 rounder is standard, not high capacity. Just as my Colt AR22 rimfire came with a 30 round mag, which would be standard, not high capacity. Sorry for the rant, but we just need to stop calling everything over a ten round magazine “high capacity”

      • avatarJWhite says:

        You should remind Brownells about the difference. It would seem that their site is now selling “high-capacity-rebuild-kits”

        Since when where rebuild kits sold without a magazine body? This is news to me….

        • avatarrosignol says:

          Maybe they heard about the recent posting of the necessary files to print your own magazine bodies on the wiki weapons site.

          Obviously, they’re not going to be useful to someone who doesn’t have a 3d printer, but that’s a technology I expect to spread very rapidly once they get the kinks worked out.

  4. avatartdiinva says:

    I don’t see any legislative authority granting the President the power to ban magazines. A ban on receivers may be justifiable under the NFA on the basis that an AR receiver could be used to manufacture a select fire weapon.

  5. avatarCameron S. says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily because they KNOW it’s going to happen, but it is a well-calculated call. Potterfield and crew know what they’re doing: if an EO-ban were to happen while they had a 1-year backorder of 30-rounders, they would have a LOT more angry customers wanting a grandfathered ship of product instead of perhaps a slight backlash that they’re going to get for this move.

  6. avatarHanover Fiste says:

    It sounds like Midway is doing the opposite of what the blog entry claims.

    I read the email as saying that Midway is shipping items that might be banned sooner rather than later. My guess is in order to get them shipped before any ban is enacted.

    • avatarDavid W. says:

      Yeah sounds like to me Midway is like “These might be banned, so we are sending them to you as fast as possible” not “These might be banned, so we are not going to send them to you”.

      O_o

      • avatarAnon in CT says:

        Yup. They are getting the controversial standard cap mags out now, and not waiting on the other part of the order. Good for customer, and good for Midway since they would not want to be stuck with legally unsaleable stock.

      • avatarJWhite says:

        thats exactly what they are saying. BEcause they might be banned, we’re seing these out to you ASAP.

    • avatarBen says:

      I read it this way too. Rather than holding a shipment until all backordered items are in stock, they are shipping what they have as soon as they can.

  7. avatarJH says:

    Love Midway USA . They get about 85% of my online business for odds and ends and even bulk orders. Brownells gets a chunk of that as well. Thanks Larry for all you do for our gun rights as well!

  8. avatarbeanfield says:

    “Therefore we have done a partial release of your backorders to ensure that any of these items and other items we had in inventory waiting to ship complete are all on their way, in case such an Order is forthcoming.”

    It doesn’t sound like they are holding off shipping possible banned items. It sounds like the exact opposite…..instead of withholding the entire order until it’s ready to ship they’re shipping the possible banned parts ASAP.

  9. avatarJuliesa says:

    It’s good that Midway is expediting the shipping of the items that are in danger of becoming banned.

  10. avatarLow Budget Dave says:

    So, In answer to the original question, “no.”

    • avatarThomas Paine says:

      Larry Potterfield has a life size wax replica of Chuck Norris in his living room. Actually, it’s really Chuck Norris, but Chuck Norris is afraid to move.

  11. avatarkb says:

    Can we please not call for boycotts of Midway?

    • avatarbeanfield says:

      Agreed….can we please get a correction on the story before it goes viral? Last thing we need is to punish a company for doing the right thing.

  12. avatarctay says:

    It’s anyone’s guess what Midway is doing. Having said that, I ordered numerous high capacity mags from them three weeks ago and had no problems receiving my order. They’ve always been good to me and will receive my business, unlike CTD.

  13. avatarChris says:

    “Rather than make your entire order wait for the few backordered magazines that may be illegal by the time we finally get them from our distributor, we will ship you what we have of your order now in case your other items are sitting around our warehouse waiting for mags to come in that you might not get anyway depending on what happens and have your whole order delayed for nothing.” – how I read it. Sounds like good customer service to me. Better if they aren’t charging additional shipping when the mags come in and are shipped separate.

  14. avatarChris says:

    I got this email on an order of mine. I understand it to say that they are shipping whatever they can at this point to get it out before POTUS issues any executive order. MidwayUSA will continue to get my business. Go Larry!

  15. avatardom says:

    What’s up TTAG? I, like many others took Midway’s email to signify that they are rushing out whatever they can of a customer’s backorder. I got an emsil from them identifying what backordered products had arrived and instructing me of my options-either wait for eveything at once for reduced shipping, or choose what I want sent immediately. I was impressed with the customer service, knowing how busy they must be. I chose to have the available items sent from my backorder-shipping costs be dammned. I think they are doing great. They keep me informed of my status and let me decide if I want the merchandise dribbled out or all at once. Brownells has also been great.

  16. avatarMichael B. says:

    Midway isn’t selling anyone out. They’re doing the right thing: shipping items at risk of being banned as fast as possible to the consumer. Farago has it wrong and if he doesn’t correct this soon there’s a real chance he’ll spawn a viral boycott of someone who’s doing the right thing.

    • avatarAharon says:

      Michael B,

      The article could have been written differently from the view Midway is releasing mags as they come into inventory out of concern a ban might be imminent. Suggesting that Midway has inside knowledge is probably conjecture unless other facts are known.

    • avatarRoll says:

      I know, this was b/c I read too quickly and assumed they were, I love shopping at midway and requested deletion of my comment, but i guess nothing has happened yet, oh well whenever they get to it. PLEASE erase my stupid comment above TTAG!

  17. avatarEJC says:

    Robert you totally mis-read that release. Midway is not refusing to ship standard cap mags they are rushing them out the door. Please fix the text of your post to reflect that.

  18. avatarAharon says:

    There might be some simple greed going on too since if an EO comes out banning mags immediately or in a few weeks then Midway would have to refund non-shipped product and have to deal with trying to get the manufacturers to take back the magazines. When a business writes that they are doing xyz for their customers I tend to ask myself what is in it for the business itself.

    • avatarBrian says:

      They don’t charge until it ships. I have several hundred bucks worth of merch on backorder there and it hasn’t been charged yet.

  19. avatardom says:

    Did the article just changed from “midway is holding back” to “mideay is accelerating”?

  20. avatarjwm says:

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. The great panic buy is in full swing. What better way to increase the frenzy than to remind people of a possible outcome, one of several, that will ratchet their anxiety up a couple of notches and loosen their restraint with their credit cards.

    See, I can play conspiracy buff too.

  21. avatarSean says:

    Ninja Edit!

  22. avatarSilver says:

    Just rolling my eyes at people who still think the fact that he has no legal authority to make such an EO is actually going to stop him, or that the illegality will actually be addressed by our corrupt governmental officials. Since when does a king need authority?

    The Traitor in Chief will continue to do as he pleases, Congress will allow him to, and the people will put on their show of anger then quickly forget it when the new season of Idol comes on.

  23. avatarstateisevil says:

    Does Obama have the authority to issue an EO putting a bounty on the scalps of all red heads?

  24. avatarDarren says:

    I don’t see any authority granted by Congress to ban the domestic manufacture of high-capacity magazines. Magpul will sue, and will probably win, assuming the Congress doesn’t do something to undo the EO. From Obama’s POV even if the EO is illegal it will stop traffic in high-cap mags until the EO is overturned and it will require Congress to go on record to overturn his EO. He might try, but if pressed in the courts it’s likely he’ll lose.

    I do see authority under trade agreements to interfere with/stop the importation of foreign-produced magazines, parts, firearms and ammo. GHWB (41) banned the importation of some foreign-made rifles back in the late 80s/early 90s, I can recall the Steyr AUG in particular though other than the last scene of “Die Hard” I cannot recall ever hearing about an AUG in semi-auto form used in a crime. Gun-banners would say, “See, it worked.” Knowledgeable individuals would probably point out that the AUG was an enthusiasts’ gun to begin with and was never here in large numbers.

  25. avatarSlappy says:

    I order a lot of stuff from Midway. This is nothing new, I frequetnly get partial order shipments.

    IMO this is just a customer relations stunt…..sort of a “we always have your best interest in mind” approach. You think what a great company Midway is for it and keep ordering more stuff!

  26. If that happens, the House should immediately begin Impeachment proceedings. We won’t get Obama removed from office… but at least we can slow him down with Impeachment.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      I dont think impeachment would even be a whisper in the House should Obama try an EO.

      I signed an impeachment petition regarding Benghazi. I knew full and well it was more for symbolic purposes and it wouldnt be taken seriously. The White House response basicaly said the following:

      1) NO
      2) Cant be impeached because we are not at war
      3) FOAD
      4) No again

      Basicaly, he wont even be investigated for (in my opinion) being an accessory to murder of Americian citizens on American soil. So he will be allowed to abuse his powers against us again and again until he leaves in four years.

  27. At what would be the consequences of ignoring this Executive Order… We are under no obligation to follow illegal orders. Only Congress makes laws.

    • avatarensitu says:

      SCOTUS has ruled that Criminals cannot be forced to “Register their guns” as that would violate their protection from self incrimination
      Catch-22 for Obobo

  28. avatarTangledThorns says:

    It’s highly likely no bans will happen in Congress so it’s possible that Obama provides cover to his fellow Democrats by enacting a ban on any magazine over 10 rounds.

  29. avatark4R-15 says:

    Fear. It is one of the most powerful motivators of human beings.

    In other news New York is attempting to further restrict magazine capacity to 7 rounds instead of 10….

  30. avatarmiforest says:

    I would expect him to do it. It would cause expense and grief for sellers, and money and time for the SAF and NRA to fight it. In the meantime he woulde be getting worshipful support for the ANTI crowd. It’s a cynical move, but Obama is nothing if not cynical.
    he Really enjoys conflict with his political enemies. I see no real downside for him.
    IF ist is overturned, and its a big IF, with Roberts on the court, what does Obama lose?
    The supream court has let the states like mass. and Calif limit magazines. I personaly don’t think the courts will overturn it.

    Obamsa is from a union organizing background, SEIU I believe. his whole mind seems to be from that mileu. A “disagreement” with a union is alway total war with with them. Its part of his world view .

  31. avatarIn Memphis says:

    Okay I am honestly getting confused on all this EO talk. If Obama can not legaly do it (as the majority on TTAG seems to say) then why are we still talking and worrying about it? Nick stated in an article yesterday that Obama can possibly issue an EO on one line item of the ban, I think it was the NICS checks or mag cap limits, but nothing else.

    Please give me a no BS answer, can he do it or not? If not then what is all the talk about?

    Edit to Add: If what Nick said is true, how can he make an EO against one specific item on the ban and not others?

    • avatarSilver says:

      Like anything in politics, it’s about how well you can get around the laws. ST sums it up well just below.

  32. avatarSkyler says:

    Midway will be getting a lot of my business from now on.

  33. avatarSteve says:

    One could surmise that a Magazine is not a gun, not any more than a sling swivel or a scope. Therefore he would have no authority unless it is imported.

    So if anything, I would look for an import ban on anything black rifle related. Then of course you could have the whole reclassification scheme.

  34. avatarLars says:

    I don’t even understand why this is a conversation piece. Obama cannot use executive order to ban firearms or accessories. Take some time to read what executive order is, what it can and cannot do and why.

    • avatarST says:

      I have. And you’re wrong.

      While Obama cannot declare that “All firearms from this date forth are illegal” , he can declare “The ATF from this date forth has unlimited authority from the White House to designate which guns meet the criterion of ‘sporting arms’ and thus to determine what should or should not be legally sold”.

      Both pronouncements ban firearms for civil use, yet only one is legal to execute.

      The reason the EO path is so destructive is because there is no direct oversight-we’d have to challenge it in court, and the last Obama EO regarding guns was upheld. Its also much harder to argue against established bureaucracy then it is whether a law is or isn’t unconstitutional-and the latter is by no means easy itself.

      • avatarIn Memphis says:

        Thanks for that breakdown ST. Thats a pretty scary loophole.

      • avatarTaurus609 says:

        Actually, if he did that, with the ATF, wouldn’t it be prudent of the conservative house (which controls the money) to way underfund the ATF hamstringing any enforcement?

  35. avatarRalph says:

    POTUS can issue any EO that he wants to issue. But will he? And if he does, will it withstand judicial scrutiny?

    As to whether or not he will, this will be a touchy subject for Democrat strategists. If POTUS proceeds without Congressional imprimatur, he will make some elected officials happy because they want it done at all costs (McCarthy et al). He will make others happy because they don’t mind if it’s done just as long as their fingerprints aren’t on it (Manchin et al). He will energize his crazy base. But he may piss off enough lawmakers to endanger the rest of his legislative agenda.

    Gun control by EO would be a major FU to Congress and to the people. With gay marriage, immigration reform and debt limits on the immediate horizon, a lame duck POTUS probably would like to avoid resorting to a gun control EO.

    Besides, while the probability of passing a comprehensive law tougher than the 1994 AWB isn’t all that high, the probability of a getting mag cap ban through both houses is very high, practically a done deal. So why resort to an EO?

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Mostly a reassuring statement Ralph and thanks. We can only hope it goes that way, minus the mag cap ban.

      • avatarRalph says:

        There’s a hi-cap ban bill in the House now. There’s no such stand alone hi-cap ban in the Senate that I know of. I don’t think that POTUS, a true believer if there ever was one, will want a stand alone hi-cap bill to go forward, even though it would certainly pass. He’s always been an all-or-nothing guy, and I don’t think he’s going to change.

        • avatarIn Memphis says:

          Thanks for the clarification. If it is all or nothing can individual peices be adopted from the full bill or do they have to be reintroduced as a stand alone when the full bill fails?

        • avatarRalph says:

          @In Memphis, the questions that you asked are the ones that the strategists are going over right now. There seems to be some division, which is why POTUS put VPOTUS in charge of the process — to gain consensus and buyoff. We’ll know more tomorrow.

          The one common theme that I’m hearing is that the gungrabbers feel that they can’t afford to lose any of the battles. This is their once-in-a-lifetime chance, and they can’t blow it.

  36. avatarLance says:

    Overall I think this is more of a way to let order die down so they can get done with back orders. Any EO Obama will try will be challenged by congress and in the courts, and has little in the ways of laws to stand. So Yes we should fight we wont know if this IS his main attack!.

  37. avatarPSI says:

    I love Midway too…..and Natchezss…..and Ableammo and ammoman and georgia-arms and usaammo. I guess I have a lot of love to spread around…. :)

  38. avatarMikeinid says:

    I see some folks got wrapped around the axle, but it looks like everyone has self unwrapped. Regardless, I would like to state that Midway is one of the most ethical and customer sensitive companies I have ever delt with. I have been buying from them for many years, and am impressed with their products, service, information ( provided for free), and industry involvement. They are truly one of the good guys, and have always stood up for the industry and related sports.

    While this has been stated, they are re-offering to ship in stock items that were being held till a full order was completed. This is a decision you make when you purchase. They have taken it upon themselves to give you a chance to get what they have, instead of waiting on one out of stock item. Just flat good customer service, as usual.

  39. avatarRob Drummond says:

    HIMSELF……The Supreme Lord & Dictator………..HE will make an EO and HIS will be done!!!!!!!

    God help us!
    Rob Drummond

  40. avatarMOG says:

    On the road to autocracy. (Others have used the exe order as well, to bypass legal checks and balance). More it is used the easier it is.

  41. avatarracer88 says:

    Yep… I got that message from Midway by text on my phone. And, today two 15-round mags for my Glock 19 are on the way. I’ve got a bunch of others on backorder. We’ll see if / when I get them.

  42. avatarWoodekt says:

    I put an order in for a few high capacity spare magazine springs in case this happens. Needed them anyway, so I bought a few extra.

  43. avatarGOOFA says:

    I’m sorry to change the topic but I need to vent. I’m not very happy with Midway USA at the moment. I purchased an AR15 on Dec 28 and on the 29th I ordered 20 boxes of .223 ammo that was on sale to 1/31/2013. Now I stress, there was no limit on the amount and to the date of the email from Midway there still was no limit placed. This is the text of an email sent to me on 1-11-2013…
    As you know, because of the current political environment there are several products in extremely high demand. In order to serve as many Customers as possible, MidwayUSA has implemented quantity limits on these items. In review of backorders, we discovered you had items on backorder in excess of the quantity limits; therefore your outstanding backorders of limited items has been reduced to the quantity limit.

    Thanks for Your Business!

    Sincerely,

    MidwayUSA Customer Service

    Now I’ve been a customer of their’s for years and have had items placed on backorder and I had no problem with that as long as I knew that at the time of me placing the order, as was the case with this order. For Midway to cut my order in half after the fact I feel is a poor business practice. My invoice shows the amount to be billed is for 20 boxes, not 10 so for those of you who have been customers of Midway you know that if you place an order for an item that has a quantity limit and you go over they tell you right away before your order is complete. Like I said there was no such limit at the time I placed the order and the fact that they send me an email 13 days later stating that they’re cutting my order in half is bad business an non ethical as far as I’m concerned. Also their waiting to tell me 13 days later makes it impossible to secure ammo at other suppliers. I called their customer service dept and spoke to Kimberly She responded to me in “robotic fashion” I’m sorry and there’s nothing I can do about it 2-3 times and was refused to speak to a supervisor. All I got was a tel# to Larry’s line. Thanks for allowing me too vent.

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