An increasing number of lawmakers in both parties appear willing to compromise on high-capacity magazines, the one component of gun control legislation that seems palatable to Republicans who view a full ban on assault weapons as politically toxic.
The New York Times reports that there appears to be some willingness on both sides to limit the type of magazines that can hold 15 and 30 rounds that have been used in mass shootings like those in Newtown, Conn.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Aurora, Colo.
Lawmaker told the newspaper they see a distinct difference between limits on magazine sizes and a full ban, which would not gain enough support.
“I see them as separate,” said Sen. Angus King Jr., an independent from Maine. “It’s the difference between appearance and functionality. High-capacity magazines have contributed to a lot of these tragedies.”
Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader who has been a strong supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA), remains staunchly opposed to an assault weapons ban. But even he has indicated a willingness to limit magazine sizes for civilian gun owners.
“I think it is something we ought to discuss,” he said.
Constitutional lawyers and some conservatives generally believe that limiting magazine size falls within the boundaries of recent Supreme Court decisions on gun rights.
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