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Gun Violence and Magazine Capacity - Part 1.5 (interlude)

Before I post Part Two, I have a question for interested reader. Please respond with a comment.

This is for anyone interested in gun safety and potential gun control legislation.

A simple question that I ask you answer in a comment without searching for answers online. It is actually several questions but a single concept that should have a single correct answer: 

WHAT IS THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF THE CONCEPT THAT 10 ROUNDS MARKS A MEANINGFUL THRESHOLD BEYOND WHICH A MAG IS CONSIDER "HIGH CAPACITY"? 

Where does this 10-round threshold first show up historically? When?

In what context was it used? For which firearms was it meant to apply? 

Now don't cheat with a search engine, just provide a quick answer below. I will score this very fairly. 

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rottyfan January 26, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Didn't Mr. Ruger, sorry, I forget his first name, testifying before Congress regarding the Clinton ban say, "No one really needs more than 10 rounds"? It's my understanding that he gave that testimony in order to exempt Ruger brand rifles from the Clinton ban.
Jlo January 26, 2013 at 04:02 PM
hmmm I have no idea. I assumed it was an arbitrary number from the first federal AWB in 1994? There is probably some political pandering in there too, like New York stopping at 7 rounds because NY made 1911's have 7 rounds.
Bill C January 26, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Its just a number to be used until something happens with 19th century revolver technology and then they will want to eliminate those. "Let no tragedy go to waist" Rahm Emanuel
Thomas Paine January 27, 2013 at 11:27 AM
All good and reasonable answers though I think Bill C was being a tad sarcastic. ;-) As best as I can ascertain, the 10-round threshold was first used in any legislation in California in the 1980s. Specifically, the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 which went into effect in 1990. This is the "first text" from which all subsequent AWBs were based, including Connecticut's and the federal AWB of 1994. Roberti-Roos was driven into law by only a margin of a handful of votes in the California state legislature. It came to be in the wake of a school shooting similar to Newtown, in Stockton California where a drifter with a long criminal and mental health record killed a number of kids on a school playground. What is of utmost interest to the current debate is that "10 rounds" came up in Roberti-Roos only in the context of machine pistols like the Uzi-style, MAC-10 and Tec-9 and "assault rifles". Based on reading contemporaneous writings of the day, as well as summaries written by those involved in the drafting, the 10-round limit WAS NOT intended to apply to traditional semi-automatic pistols designed with "standard capacity" magazines of greater than 10 rounds. I will elaborate further (with links) in Part Two which will go up later today.

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