The Chicago Sun-Times used this photo of pistols with standard capacity magazines to illustrate the menace of easy access to "high capacity" magazines. (photo courtesy Rich Hein / Sun-Times)
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Not long ago, the big guns and high-capacity magazines [Melissa] Lulik and her friends use at ranges and in competitions weren’t so common among civilians.

Now, you can easily buy them online or in stores. You don’t need a license or a background check to buy one. Extended-capacity magazines — which hold 10 or more bullets and can be used with handguns as well as rifles — have become commonplace even as they’ve been banned in some places.

The privately owned companies that are the big players in the industry don’t report sales figures or how many of the magazines they produce. One indication of how ubiquitous they are comes from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry group. In 2018, the latest data it has on them, the foundation estimated that 304 million detachable magazines were in circulation nationwide — including 80 million able to hold 30 or more rounds.

The magazines have become must-haves for many law-abiding gun owners, who often pair them with AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles. They also have become standard fare for criminals.

Large-capacity magazines are illegal to sell or possess in Chicago, which bans magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, and suburban Cook County, where the county’s ban starts after 10 rounds.

But they’re still easy to obtain. All it takes is driving to a store in a neighboring county that sells them.

A Chicago Sun-Times reporter was able to buy a 32-round magazine — for $37.99, plus tax — by going just outside the city to Hammond, Indiana. Seeing a Chicago address on an ID didn’t keep the store from selling the magazine or questioning whether it would be taken back to the city. Nor is a seller required to ask.

— Stephanie Zimmermann in How high-capacity magazines for weapons have become a mass-market item

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    • “Those damn Yankee rifles they load on Monday and shoot until Sunday.” Something to that effect. And yes, it was about Henry rifles.

    • Poor poor DUI paul pelosi was at home alone with no means of self defense while nancy pelosi had an armed guard security detail at her disposal. And somehow with little known about the perp who attacked DUI paul every Republican in America is guilty of home invasion or planning on invading a democRat’s Nest. It’s nothing more than the desperate sleeezebag drama queen media attempting to save democRats on Nov. 8.

  1. I believe the reporter is wrong when they said ” A Chicago Sun-Times reporter was able to buy a 32-round magazine — for $37.99, plus tax” What kind of magazine holds 32 rounds? If they cannot get this fact straight what else do they have wrong?

  2. Magazines are considered disposable item with a finite life span. For every m16A1, A2 and M4 the US Gov’t has purchased in the last 60 years (which is millions) us taxpayers have probably purchased a hundred magazines for each and every rifle. I imagine there are at least a billion 10+Rd capacity magazines in civilian hands in this country with over 400 million privately owned firearms. I personally owned dozens before the 94’ ban and have bought hundreds since the 04’ sunset.

    • The good old GI aluminum magazine for an M16 has a lifespan of about 4,000 rounds according to the Army. Anytime I find magazines on sale even if they’re for guns I don’t own I buy them by the case because of the 94 ban. When the bottom fell out of the market some years back I bought over 1,500 pmags for $4 a piece and I’m going to have them for a very long time even if they make them illegal. Do you remember when Cheaper Than Dirt was selling hk g3 magazines for $0.97 each? I bought thousands mostly because I remember paying $35 a piece for HK mags when they were pretty difficult to get in the US.

        • no such thing as a “militia of one” – just doesn’t work that way, and the american militia of the 1700’s would laugh at the thought.

        • Because prior to the 94 ban I had an FFL and the National Shooting Sports Foundation guys told us that a magazine ban was coming so one day I went to my supplier that I believe was RSR in Grand Prairie and spent nearly a hundred grand on handgun magazines and sat on them for a few years. They went up in value nearly 20 fold before I started selling them. I also like hoarding things that retain their value and I probably have in weight more guns and ammo than my house and swimming pool weighs. I could probably open up an online retailer of magazines and have more inventory of eclectic stuff than anyone in the country. Got a Galil 308 from the 1980s? I have a few hundred of those magazines. Into Smith & Wesson gen 3 semi autos in 10 mm? I have thousands of those magazines. Just think of every Oddball magazine that some wholesaler got tired of having on their shelf collecting dust and realize that I bought every one of them over a several decade time frame and still have nearly all of them.

        • thumb’s up. but …

          “still have nearly all of them”

          … are you expecting to sell/distribute/use them at any point?

  3. This just in………….Nancy Pelosi has just stated she will introduce legislation for the confiscation of, and banning the future sale of all hammers; saying that they are extremely dangerous, and should not be available to the general public.

    Film at 11…………

    • that will leave her housemate TOTALLY defenseless.
      He already is prohibited owning a firearm, due to his recent drunk driving incident. Felony DD is a debilitating action.
      Now if he caon’t even have a HAMMER in the house, next time his boyfriend gets feisty he’ll have to resort to his bare fists. Oh wait, maybe he could find the kitchen and snaffle a ten inch chef’s knife. OK now,the pore feller’s not totally defenseless.

      • Sorry, Tionico, but a DUI in California is a misdemeanor, unless there is an accident involving injury. A DUI, by itself, does NOT make someone in CA a “prohibited person”.

  4. Oh thank God !!! An article that actually says “AR-15 Style Semiautomatic Rifle” as opposed to the corrupt media standard “assault weapon”. So, thank you for that.

    • Chris, the first time I recall reading of the “assault rifle”, I would have been about 14 at the time, was in Guns and Ammo magazine. The article was Tappan On Survival. The term was used in firearms publications for a decade, or more, before I remember it being used by mainstream media. If you don’t like the expression “assault rifle” take your complaint to the POG. We coined the phrase. What makes me grit my teeth is “MSR”. The AR has been around longer than me. I’ve been called a lot of things. Modern is not one of them.

  5. When an acquaintance of mine once said that magazines shouldbe given serial number just like firearms I told him: “There aren’t enough numbers in existence to do that foolish idea”.

    One could guess how many AK magazines have been made by Russia and China in the last 60+ years, it probably numbers the stars in the sky.

    • At this point aren’t there fairly reliable 3d printed glass filled nylon options for common magazine designs?

  6. Some people just can’t get over their obsession with size.

    I tend to go bigger, bulkier, and more rugged with most things but having the right tool for the job is important too. I see no reason to erroneously limit myself when I don’t know what’s going to happen. The simple idea of being prepared is at the heart of getting through this life. What I don’t need is some idiot politician making these decisions for me.

    • I work on mechaincal things mostly made of metal, though more and ore f plastic these sad days.
      In my assortment of tools I have spanners ranging from about two inches long (yes, a 9/16 open spanner f less than two inches length… I took a standard length and cut it short to make it easier to get at the gland nut to adjust fuel mixture on the old English SU carburetters. I also have a 9/16 open/ring spanner that is eighteen inches long. That one comes in handy when I need a little more authority than what my battered hulk can put out on its own. Leverage is my good friend.
      Same with pipe wrenches. I have one that is about four inches long, another that is literally thirty inches long. I don’t need either one very often, but when I need one, the other certainly will NOT do.

      da tinga-ma-bob ta do da yob.

      Amminitioin feeding devices are no different. I would not want a forty round stick mag poking out of the mag well on my BHP when I am trying to conceal it upon my person in public.

      • I had a car with dual side-draft SU carbs, my 1971 Datsun (before Nissan) 240Z…

  7. Stephanie, you ignorant slut. Perhaps you might want to have some knowledge of the subject matter before you start writing. For that matter what do you know about? Can you change a tire? Do you know how to plan, purchase the ingredients, and prepare a delicious, nutritious, hot home cooked meal? Can you load a magazine or a gun? Why would I value any opinion you have?

    • I think, uh… think you pretty well nailed it. I want to print that on a card and whenever the situation arises just hand it to people.

    • simple: because SHE gets paid (a fool and his money are soon parted….) to have and express her opinions. Thus she writes about what she is told to write.

      Heck if someone was paying me to drive them around, I’d even drive a Prius if that was what is requried.

      and since WE on this board are not being paid (wiser men tend to keep their money longer) we can think whatever we wish to think.

  8. It’s going to be such fun suggesting to those people that they can consider working on their coping skills as the momentum builds and bans start falling faster and faster thanks to Saint Thomas and his strict scrutiny on steroids ‘Bruen’ decision.

    I even dare saying that, even more than the abortion decision, ‘Bruen’ will drive them to pack the SCotUS the first opportunity they get…

    • Came here to point out the same thing. Almost $40 for a magazine??? They didn’t care what address was on your license because they could smell the ‘sucker’ all over you.

  9. But [firearm ammunition magazines which hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition are] still easy to obtain. All it takes is driving to a store in a neighboring county that sells them.” — Stephanie Zimmerman

    And yet those neighboring counties have a MUCH lower violent crime rate than Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.

    Chicago and Cook County, Illinois do NOT have a firearm nor ammunition magazine problem–rather they have a violent criminal problem.

  10. “A Chicago Sun-Times reporter was able to buy a 32-round magazine — for $37.99, plus tax — by going just outside the city to Hammond, Indiana. Seeing a Chicago address on an ID didn’t keep the store from selling the magazine or questioning whether it would be taken back to the city. Nor is a seller required to ask.”

    First, congratulations on exercising your second amendment right.

    Second, congratulations to the seller for exercising their second amendment right and their right to free commerce under law.

    Third, so?

    Of course these magazines are common. Heck, I have over 200 30 round magazines for my AR platform rifles.

    Magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are common standard capacity magazines and not some evil talisman used to conjure demons of crime like the democrats want to pretend.

    Conjuring demons of crime is what the democrats catch-n-release program policy’s do by releasing ~17,000 known repeat and new offender violent criminals who have never served actual jail time more than 3 days for their crimes, or escaped charges or conviction for the actual crime by plea bargain, across the United States roughly every 48 hours, without bail requirements. And within 72 hours of their release these have committed another violent crime and go through the democrat catch-n-release program again. The average (nationwide) under the democrats catch-n-release program policy’s is 10 violent crimes with 37 victims (collectively) severely injured or killed per each one of these violent offender released under the democrat catch-n-release program before they are actually convicted of anything and the conviction rate for these is less than 3%.

  11. “Extended-capacity magazines — which hold 10 or more bullets…”
    What kind of magazine only holds bullets? They don’t hold bullets; they hold cartridges!
    A magazine that only holds bullets wouldn’t be good for anything other than throwing it at someone.

    And apparently they want to limit magazines to only 9 rounds., as their new definition of “10 or more” as “high capacity” lowers the count by one from most previous definitions.


    It appears Ms. Zimmermann knows a little about a lot of topics… Just enough to be dangerous, it seems. She’s definitely not a small arms specialist.

    This is so typical among journalists. Try as they might to sound convincing, they can’t be trusted to speak authoritatively on any topic that isn’t of personal interest to them and where they’ve performed an appropriate amount of diligent, well-cited research. Yet again, this demonstrates why the mainstream media can’t be trusted to convey anything but facts accompanied by indisputable evidence. It also shows the importance of journalists interviewing third-party subject matter experts who don’t have known agendas in order to add credibility to their reporting.

    Our globalized society has been conditioned to blindly accept the opinions of unqualified and biased people, whether they be trained journalists, celebrities, social media influencers, politicians, or others, rather than taking the time to research and critically think about important issues.

    The more people become aware of this, the better off all of humanity will be.

  13. Why should Indiana enforce Illinois law? Why would you expect them to? It’s not like you can’t buy liquor outside of a dry county either.

    • read the bit about “making trade aongst the several states regular” in the US Constitution, The Indiana store did right.

    • My magazines identify as off-label hormone meds and my guns all identify as dilaters.
      Not only is it all protected and paid for but you’re a bigot if you have a problem with them.

    • There is NO magazine limit in Cook county. Chiraq has BS “limits” which everyone ignores. My 30 round mags are legal in Cook county(I can easily buy one at my local COOK south suburban gunshop). That bs rule ended with CCL’s. I rarely buy anything in Cook except for a couple gats. One came with those dreaded 17round magazines. I generally don’t buy at Indiana gunshops “requiring” an ID except Cabelas where I buy lots of ammo & a LPVO scope lately. The Sun Times is barely anything in 2022…

    • My ammunition feeding devices are inert objects and thus are incapable of doing anything, including choosing their own identity.

      My magazines are MINE, and it is ME who does their identifying, and ordering about.

    • MyName,

      Magazine capacity regulations are not useless at all:

      First, their failure gives Progressive True Believers something to whine about incessantly.

      Second, they enable Progressive True Believers to shout from the rooftops that they “did something”.

      Third, they enable Progressive True Believers to exclaim enthusiastic support–thus they are a valuable vehicle for virtue signalling.

  14. I thought the article was going to be about the easy access to 10 round (or less) magazines; since they are what is typically called Standard Capacity. Of course, it depends what firearm you are shooting as well. Not sure what the point of this article was? Some of the writings here seem to serve zero purpose, other than to create traffic for a website, and appease the advertisers that support it.

    • “I thought the article was going to be about the easy access to 10 round (or less) magazines; since they are what is typically called Standard Capacity…”


      They are not standard capacity. They are the capacity for those magazines either by law or by design. But they are not standard capacity. ‘Standard Capacity’ magazines are magazines that can hold the maximum amount of rounds THAT CAN actually be fired from a gun without limits place on magazine capacity, in a form that is conviently carried and handled. For some its 15 rounds and for others its 30 rounds and these are the industry and community Standard Capacity magazines, from there it varies according to personal desire for more or less depending on whats available, or by design capacity, or in a law restriction. A magazine limited to 10 rounds or less by law is not a Standard Capacity magazine, it is an artifical limit imposed by law.

      • In other words…

        A standard capacity magazine generally means any detachable ammunition feeding device that is sold with and designed to operate in firearms as sold from the manufacturer …. within industry and market standards for the majority of the market as a whole thus ‘standardized’. A 10 round of less capacity imposed by law is not a standard capacity magazine even if it might come with the gun or only whats available by law.

  15. Did the idiot “reporter” get reimbursed by her employer for the purchase, as well as gas money, and did the aforementioned turn herself in to the relevant authorities upon her return to Chicago?

  16. “Large-capacity magazines are illegal to sell or possess in Chicago, which bans magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, and suburban Cook County, where the county’s ban starts after 10 rounds.”

    Which are all unconstitutional (see Bruen).

    “ubiquitous” – yes they are ubiquitous so STFU girl.

  17. I really hate the vernacular of modern day gun-isms — ‘standard capacity’ and ‘modern sporting rifle.’

    The AR was developed with a 20 round magazine — that would be ‘standard’. Then came the 30 round magazine — that would be ‘high’. A ‘standard’ 10/22 magazine holds 10. Anything more than this is ‘high’. The terms are relative for each and every weapon.

    The supercars of the ’70s and ’80s were superceded by the hypercars of the ’80s and later. At no point did the older cars become ‘standard’.

    Also, the 2nd amendment was never about ‘sporting’ and to apply that term to weapons implies and acceptance of that false premise.

    Please stop twisting language to counter to get one over on the opponent.

    • Well, High definition is anything above standard. That means that 720p and component cables are all included in ‘high definition’. So at what point in the evolution of technology does 1080p become ‘standard’? What it all says to me is essentially what I thought to begin with…that these things are all relative. It’s a moving target. I just think it’s funny for the liberal progressive left Democrat to go nuts over magazine capacity. Guns are just as deadly with 30 rounds as they are with 1. The engines in cars will start and run with one gallon of gas just as easily as they can with 20 gallons. But heaven forbid anyone actually know anything about these things. They say ‘follow the science’ but that comes from people that couldn’t care less what science really is. I completely agree that the language is being twisted.

      A great example is global warming. I have no doubt at all that this planet is warming up. I don’t consider that to even be in question. The problem is that they have convinced such huge numbers of people and companies that it can be fixed by lowering their carbon footprint. The truth is that man kind is NOT destroying the planet and there is NOTHING that can be done to stop the process by anything humans are able to do. This planet would be warming if humans never existed here.

    • “I really hate the vernacular of modern day gun-isms”

      10-cap, 20-cap, 30-cap.

      “the 2nd amendment was never about ‘sporting’”

      no, but it is about a well-regulated militia.

      • Many many cases have clarified what well regulated means and they have also clarified that that is a preparatory clause to the Second Amendment. There are other Preparatory clauses in the same document

        • “many cases have clarified what well regulated means”

          if it’s not the original meaning then it’s just legal rationalization.

          “that is a preparatory clause”

          it’s the entire purpose of the amendment – that’s why it’s there.

  18. I’m confused. My AR magazines that hold more than 10 rounds can also be used in my pistols? My CZ will be delighted to know that it can now fire 5.56.

  19. sounds like standard capacity magazines are in common use at this point; rendering any capacity bans unconstitutional.

  20. Omg sky falling the skying failing wait no state Chicago Times point out some thing has no effect what happing in Chicago with crime murder rate take place there right now. But does stop them from blame ever thing else but real reason suck live in Chicago.

  21. And instead of realizing that these magazine bands are ineffective, do not work, and cannot work instead of reflecting upon how useless this law is they just instead basically imply, the best thing would be for the national ban of these magazines, including confiscation. Just like what they want to do with all guns and gun ownership.

    And if you think they don’t desire nothing less than noches the band of all magazines that whole over 10 rounds, but the banning of all guns that take magazines at all, as well as to complete band of all gun ownership and mandated turn in and confiscation of all guns you are delusional.

  22. Considering there’s videos of bangers with Glock Switches in clear violation of the NFA (as immoral as the NFA is) I don’t know that I’d sweat the hi-cap mags.

    • they are useful as tools by those who would tell us how we should live enabling them to locate and incarcerate harmless individuals who possess firearms.

      Its all about control.. WE have it and YOU don’t And we tell you with a straight face “its all for YOUR OWN good.

      and they never ever ever lie to us.. ever.

  23. Well I wonder what I should do now… I found my now fifty year old handgun plopped on a wooden table at a gun show soe fifteen years ago. It came with two mags. I never even asked hw many they hold, as I guessed I could figure that out by stuffing them till they said NO MORE, and remembering that numbre. It is more than ten That nubmer is what every one of those guns produced shipped from the factory un Belgium with. I have since learned that those same guns, when shipped to the military of Argentia, were shipped with 17 round mags. Mine thus was not shipped there.

    To my knowledge, no one has ever made a magazine to fit my handgun that carries ten or fewer rounds. So what am I to do? I can’t afford to replace it, particlularly at today’s handgun prices. “Sides, I really like this reliable accurate comfortable old thing. been a part of me for fifteen years now, no reason to change that.

    • “…no one has ever made a magazine to fit my handgun that carries ten or fewer rounds. So what am I to do?”

      They have you covered.

      You will take your magazines to a gunsmith who will permanently physically block the magazine internals from accepting more than 10 rounds.

      Oh, and you will be the one paying for that ‘service’.

      (In their dreams! 🙂 )

  24. “A Chicago Sun-Times reporter was able to buy a 32-round magazine — for $37.99, plus tax — by going just outside the city to Hammond, Indiana. Seeing a Chicago address on an ID didn’t keep the store from selling the magazine or questioning whether it would be taken back to the city. Nor is a seller required to ask.”

    Yeah doofus, because they’re completely useless WITHOUT A GUN TO STICK THEM IN.

  25. Places With Magazine Capacity Limits:
    “We are perfectly fine with you shooting 10 people…but that 11th one….oooooh, that really makes us cranky.”


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