Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that would require all ammunition purchases to involve an in-person photo ID check, and also create a registry of people who purchase more than 1,000 rounds in five days that will then be forwarded to law enforcement for “follow-up.” The full text of the bill has yet to post online, but Rep. Coleman (who has had two of her sons previously plead guilty to armed robbery) claims that her aim is to reduce mass shootings by limiting the ammunition available in the United States. However, the title of the bill — Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2015 — seems to betray a larger goal for the legislation than simply “reducing gun violence.” From media reports, in her own words . . .
The legislation would require federally licensed ammunition dealers to confirm the identity of online buyers by verifying a picture I.D. in-person after a purchase is made. The bill would also require ammunition sellers to report sales of more than 1,000 rounds across five consecutive days to the attorney general if the individual is not a dealer, she said.
“This is a common sense safeguard that would give law enforcement the tools to identify suspicious activity and hopefully prevent a mass shooting,” she said, referencing the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. that killed 12 people and injured dozens more. “(James) Holmes changed that town forever with an immense stockpile of ammunition that he purchased online. Without better regulation of ammunition purchases, we risk watching another individual do the same thing.”
Online ammunition sales are a staple of modern gun ownership in the United States, providing cheaper means of obtaining the life blood of the sport and enabling even those in remote areas to keep their firearms well fed. Naturally this availability of ammunition scares the crap out of those in New Jersey, where every attempt has been made to make guns as inaccessible and illegal as possible for the average American citizen. Its an obvious move on the part of gun control activists: if they can’t go after the guns, then they sure as heck will try to choke off the supply of ammo and kill the gun culture that way.
According to the co-sponsor of the bill, “ammunition stockpiles” of 6,000 rounds or more “boggle the mind.”
“This guy Holmes in Aurora, Colo. had 6,000 rounds of ammunition,” Pallone (D-6th) said. “Just thinking about that, it boggles the mind. How in the world can there be opposition to this kind of initiative?”
Apparently Rep. Pallone has no concept of the throughput of the average American shooter. I’ve got 6,000 rounds of .22lr in my closet collecting dust, and that isn’t even starting to break open the cases of 5.56 NATO or 9mm ammo. Shooting with any kind of regularity, you burn through thousands of rounds on a regular basis. But the good congresspeople from New Jersey have no practical knowledge of firearms, nor what constitutes a “normal” amount of ammunition. I would be flabbergasted if they’ve ever held a firearm, much less spent some time on the range. Instead, they choose to legislate from a position of ignorance and fear instead of studying the problem and trying to find a logical and potent solution.
Or, alternatively, they could be striking exactly where they want. If their goal is to end mass shootings, then this is another futile attempt that will do more to harm American gun owners than actually impact violent crime. But if their true goal is to try and kill the American gun culture, then choking off the ammo supply is the perfect next move.