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Gun Experts: Limits on Magazine Size Will Only Slow Determined Killer Down by a Few Seconds


"It will take you a few more seconds, nothing longer."

Credit: Getty Images

New York last week enacted the toughest gun laws in the United States, limiting the number of bullets in magazines to seven, among other draconian restrictions. But according to gun experts, that will barely slow down a deranged and determined killer.

It takes a shooter roughly six to eight seconds to fire off a 30-round magazine, which was reportedly used in the Newtown massacre, according to Joseph Green, a retired firearms instructor and agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

On the other hand, a trained shooter would need about 13.5 to 22 seconds to fire the same number of bullets with six magazines containing five rounds. That means limiting magazines from 30 to seven rounds really only slows a determined shooter down by about 7.5 to 14 seconds.

Green explained that a shooter needs 1.5 seconds to switch out a magazine and every five-round magazine takes about one to two seconds to unload.

He conceded that during a mass shooting, killers are faced with a stressful environment, including a lot of screaming people, so it might take a killer a little more time to reload. But he and other experts argue that having to switch out magazines is just a short delay for a murderer.

John Cerar, a retired NYPD deputy inspector and former head of the firearms-training unit, told the New York Post that it's not difficult for someone to become proficient at changing magazines.

"It will take you a few more seconds, nothing longer," he said.

While Cerar says he is skeptical about New York's new gun laws, he did say he would rather have someone shooting him with a seven round clip rather than 30 rounds.

"Rifles with seven-round magazines aren’t widely available, so as a practical matter, legal New York gun owners will probably stick with easier-to-obtain five-round magazines for now," according to the Post.


Featured image via shutterstock.com

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)

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