Baltimore Police Are Recovering More Guns Loaded With High-Capacity Magazines, Despite Ban on Sales

our years ago, Maryland passed some of the toughest gun restrictions in the country, including a ban on the sale or manufacture of ammunition magazines large enough to hold more than 10 rounds. The intent of the law was to curb supplies of so-called high-capacity magazines in places like Baltimore, where at least 189 people died that year in shootings.

So far, the ban has done little to stamp out the use of big magazines by criminals, an analysis of law enforcement records by The Trace found. Baltimore police confiscated nearly 450 guns last year with enough room in the magazine to carry at least 11 rounds — high-capacity, as defined by the state — more than during any period in at least the last seven years.

Twenty-two percent of all recovered firearms were equipped with a high-capacity magazine, a 4 percentage point increase over 2013, the year the ban was adopted.

Baltimore police say larger magazines have surged in popularity among criminals because they can squeeze off more shots without reloading — and increase their odds of a kill. An investigation by The Baltimore Sun last year found that the number of corpses at the Maryland medical examiner’s office with at least 10 gunshot wounds had doubled in the past decade.