Pennsylvania Legislator Wants Licenses for Ammo Buys

Back when I lived in the city that is always home to me, Pittsburgh, I ran into a kerfuffle with Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro didn’t want to ship ammunition that I’d ordered online because the City of Bridges had passed an ordinance in 1993 (§ 607.09) requiring photo identification for all ammunition sales.

The ordinance was passed purely to pose, as Pennsylvania’s statewide preemption law dates back to 1974. But Bass Pro’s legal team wasn’t taking any chances.

As it happens, a Pennsylvania legislator has apparently looked at Pittsburgh’s laws and said to himself: “Cool idea, bro!”

State legislator Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia, as if you didn’t know) announced this week that he “will be introducing a bill that would regulate the sale of ammunition in the same way that firearm sales are currently regulated” in the Keystone State.

Mr. Sims wants to require background checks for every purchase. The part of the law that would have the greatest chilling effect, however, is the one that would create a separate license that would allow the citizenry to bypass the background check.

Technically, the law wouldn’t require such a license…but this is exactly the sort of thing that creates a chilling effect on the exercise of a right.

People being people, why go through the effort to become a gun owner, if you have to fill out a NICS form and go through the bureaucratic hassle (and errors) every single time you want to pick up a box of 50 rounds of .22LR.

Since Mr. Sims doesn’t mention private sales at all, perhaps he intends for any such transfers to take place at a FFL as well? Good luck enforcing that rule, Brian.

While I don’t want to be a conspiratorial sort, an ‘optional license’ is the sort of thing that becomes a requirement in a few years under the “It won’t start a precedent — besides, we did this a few years ago anyway,” theory.

[I suppose I should also note that it’s already illegal under federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)) for people prohibited from possessing firearms to similarly possess ammunition.]

So: a bill that would chill the wave of new gun buying, including a back door ammunition licensing scheme, while encouraging a black market in ammunition sales that would make anyone who gave a box of ammunition to a friend without first doing a background check a criminal.

This isn’t the first goofy political idea Mr. Sims has had.

Last year, he tried to lead a boycott of the Pennsylvania-based Yuengling Brewery because it hosted a visit by Donald Trump, Jr.

Now, when it comes to Pennsyvlania beers, I’m more of a Rolling Rock kind of guy, but Pennsylvania is a drinking state with a sports problem, and that idea wasn’t going to fly. I expect this new notion will work out just as well.


  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Why do statist assholes and SJW professional victims always have a profile picture with some smug shit eating grin that makes you want to curb stomp them? It can’t be just me that has noticed this.

    1. avatar Stan says:

      From Wikipedia:

      Brian K. Sims is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd district. Elected in 2012, Sims is also a lawyer and activist on LGBT civil rights. Sims is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history.

      Nuff said.

      1. avatar Tom in PA says:

        And worse yet, his boyfriend is an Eagles fan.

        1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

          Hey, don’t smear the guy without proof.

        2. avatar Tom in PA says:

          I hear you, but in my defense, there’s actually an article about him that says his boyfriend is an Eagles fan – and the dude is wearing an Eagles jersey. Between the two of them, they really need to revisit their decision making paradigm.

      2. avatar JT says:

        “182nd district”

        Looked it up, downtown Philly. Yep, that explains a lot.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Why do statist assholes and SJW professional victims always have a profile picture with some smug shit eating grin that makes you want to curb stomp them?”


      Johannes has mentioned in the past he is from Hispanic decent, so I thought that was a pic of Senor Johannes.

      Sorry about that, Johannes.

      (So, are you better or uglier looking than that guy? 🙂 )

      1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

        Depends who’s asking.

    3. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      The raised eyebrow gives it away. Gay as anything. Which is fine. Just leave the rest of us alone.

    4. Maybe it’s his grinder profile pic.

      1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:


  2. avatar Hannibal says:

    Confiscate all hipster beards.

    1. avatar NEIOWA says:

      A brick of unicorn .22 says tbe pixie also has a manbun.

  3. avatar DaveM says:

    Coming to CA. 1/1/18

    1. avatar Binder says:

      California will never do a FOID card. Not inconvenient enough to firearm owners.

      1. avatar Stan says:

        Actually they have. It’s called a Firearms Safety Certificate. Buying a long gun or pistol requires you pass the test to get the certificate.

        I’m thinking that soon the Kommiefornia idea of making ammo hard to buy will sweep the country. Every bad idea starts there.

        1. avatar Removed_californian says:

          Something something as California goes…

          If background checks on firearms is within the “Reasonable restrictions” on the RKBA, why wouldn’t a bg check on ammunition purchases also be allowed? By no means am I advocating for this this (as I’m subjected to the bs California does on a constant basis), but one infringement always leads to another.

  4. avatar Jim S. says:

    Sounds suspiciously similar to the lovely permit renewal process we’re getting in New York.
    “It’s not a big deal, because it’s FREE!”
    This time…

  5. avatar dollup15 says:

    Rolling Rock hasn’t been brewed in Pennsylvania since 2006. Anheuser-Busch moved production to New Jersey.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      So it’s official then: New Jersey does actually ruin everything.

    2. avatar David says:

      Yuengling is the better beer by far, anyway, so no loss.

    3. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      Yeah, well, I haven’t had one since before then either. It was one of those “are you from eastern PA or western PA” signals while I attended Penn State in the ’90s.

    4. avatar J says:

      Rolling rock is piss water anyways. Always has been.

    5. avatar Wiregrass says:

      I was about to say, “How long have you been away from Pittsburgh Johannes?”

      As for Pennsylvania beers, Vitamin Y is a dietary staple around here in Central PA.

  6. avatar bob says:

    yea…. that’ll never take.

    That kind of talk around here gets you booted out of office.

    Seems like every big wig from Pittsburgh wants to make the “city” out to be more than it is.

    Look, its not New York, its not LA, its not Miami…. its Pittsburgh.
    Lets put it this way, if you can drive from one side to the other in less than 15 minutes, its not a city.

    Philadelphia is the only city in PA considered a city of the first class, and any map will show you why.

    Seems the big wigs from Pittsburgh forget that there’s a whole lot of people living in PA outside of that crap hole and we don’t take kindly to people telling us what to do with our guns and ammo…. or anything else for that matter.

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      Hell, I’d rather visit Pittsburgh than LA, NYC or Miami.

      1. avatar bob says:

        True, and that’s because its nowhere near as populated so its not as scuzzy and trashy.

      2. avatar anonymoose says:

        I still like the Flyers and hate the Steelers and Penguins. Any fan of the Steelers or Penguins who lives outside of Western PA is a gigantic piece of crap, just like misplaced Patriots, Yankees, and Golden State fans.

        1. avatar David says:

          How did the flyers do against the penguins last weekend? Or which one is 3 places above the other in their division? And when it comes to football, which of those 2 cities made it to the divisional championship? I usually don’t care about what sports teams your a fan of, but calling all fans of a team pieces of crap cause they don’t live in the area of the team is ridiculous.

        2. avatar NEIOWA says:

          Everyone else is talking the 2nd and you’re blathing on about children’s games?

        3. avatar anonymoose says:

          It’s not about which team is “better,” it’s about supporting your home team, you bandwagoning traitor. If you are from a place with a good team or live in proximity to one, then there’s nothing wrong with supporting them. If you don’t live in geographical proximity to a team, then it doesn’t really matter if you support the guys who always win, but if you have a home team and you choose instead to support the Steelers, Patriots, Penguins, Red Wings (in the early 2000s when they were “the dream team” and the Blue Jackets really sucked), Yankees, Golden State, Heat, University of Alabama, etc, over your home team, you are indeed a piece of crap.

      3. avatar johannes paulsen says:

        I like visiting different places no matter what. But Pittsburgh is, hands down, a better place to buy a home and raise a family than all three of those other places you mentioned.

        Although it’s pretty easy for the law abiding to legally obtain and carry a firearm in Miami.

    2. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      Good luck getting through two tunnels and a bridge at 3:00pm in 15 minutes!

      Also: Philadelphia is a “city of the first class” because that criteria is based on population (1 million or more) in the Pa Code. It’s not based on class.

  7. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    Since the Republicans control the legislature this is just a publicity stunt. These kinds of stories merit a place in the daily digest and not their own article.

    1. avatar Guardiano says:

      That’s exactly what I came here to say. Our great Commonwealth’s gun laws have gotten better, not worse, over the years. We’re not about to go the other way, especially after going Republican in the first presidential election since Reagan.

      1. avatar dollup15 says:

        Also with the largest GOP majorities in the General Assembly since the 1950s (34-16 in the state Senate and 121-82 in the state House).

  8. avatar Alex Waits says:

    I hope he gets ticks.

  9. avatar Swilson says:

    Sweet tank-top bro. And is that a tribal tat? Noiiice!

    1. avatar n64456 says:

      All his “butt-buddies of-the-hour” like it……

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I wonder what tribe he’s from.

    3. avatar strych9 says:

      LOL. Tribal tattoos are generally *facepalm* material.

      I’ve seen some that are badass and incorporated into larger pieces and some wicked 3D ones too. Those are cool. However, generally speaking if you’re not Maori or something and you get a tribal tattoo that you picked out of a book at the shop you should probably get it on your face (like a Maori) to tell us all how stupid and unoriginal you are before you open your mouth.

  10. avatar BassmanBuz says:

    Welcome to Kommifornia–out here on the left coast, we have unfortunately
    come under the most draconian rules for gun ownership, outside of possibly Hawaaii, N.Y. city–these folks are relentless–give them an inch they will next want a foot—you get the idea

  11. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    You can’t fix stupid.

    Midway won’t ship ammo to me because of Illinois’ requirement to have a FOID card to buy ammo. But they WILL ship me brass, primers, powder, bullets, lead shot and wads. Go figure.

    With a ready supply of brass and shotshell hulls at my local range, plus a reloading press, I can amass a respectable inventory without ever buying ammunition. But please don’t tell the leftists that.

  12. avatar kevin says:

    Philly is now like California, but without the beach, and it smells like ass.

    1. avatar Tom in PA says:

      Spot on – it’s a festering manure pit where they throw batteries at Santa Claus and rob Girl Scouts while they sell cookies. The best thing that could happen to PA is to reroute the Delaware into the Schuylkill River north of Philly and cede it to NJ – they can have it.

      1. avatar Guardiano says:

        I would agree, except for the fact that the food is great and I’d rather not have to go unarmed to go to some of my favorite restaurants in Philly-In-NJ.

        1. avatar Tom in PA says:

          That is true – there’s a great culinary culture we would lose to “Philly-In-NJ” – I got quite a chuckle out of that!!

  13. avatar Bill says:

    You all laugh when it happens to us here in California, but remember, it can happen to you.

  14. avatar Rand says:

    These states are creating tremendous financial opportunity for entrepreneurs either thru creating a black market locally or setting up an ammo store just outside their state line where no ID is required. If nothing else friends can help friends bring ammo back from their vacations and day trips.

    1. avatar Rick Hess says:

      Yep, my thoughts exactly. Set up just into NV, sell ammo all day every day and rake in more money than you can spend. You’ll want to set up about a mile inside the line so the CHIPS can’t sit just over the line waiting for you. If they can’t see you they can’t just stop you for no reason at all.

      Same with PA, MA, MD, etc etc etc. Some budding entrepreneur is going to make a nice tidy little sum.

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    Never trust anyone who hangs their tent from a tree or takes selfies to show off their tiny, lame tribal tattoo.

    1. avatar DaveM says:

      Looks like that his tree tent will go 180 first time he climbs in it.
      Just guessing the fly will not be zipped.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Low hanging fruit?

  16. avatar Warren Pease says:

    Not so great ideas from California moving east. Got micro stamping yet?

  17. avatar EJQ says:

    Another reason to move. BTW, UPS will deliver the ammo I ordered yesterday on Monday. I gotta remember to put the UPS guy on my Christmas list. That stuff is heavy.

  18. avatar pete says:

    Straub FTW

  19. avatar Carl says:

    In NJ I need a fid card to buy hand gun ammo, so I buy it out of state or reload.

  20. avatar K Maiden says:

    Sounds like the Kalifornia infection spreading. Oh how it sucks living (if one call it that) in this cesspool of Kalli DemoCrud poo.

  21. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    When are people going to smarten up and remove “self-proclaimed fascist tyrannical potentates” from public office. This is the same old tired horse about doing it in the name of public safety. A person who has no regards for their constituents, The Bill of Rights, or the 2nd Amendment in general. Nothing says infringement than miring your 2nd amendment rights with Bureaucracy, and red-tape so its next to impossible to exercise them…Just like California, NJ., Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc…People of PA. , Remove this @$$whole from office…We’ll all feel better…..

  22. avatar ButtHurtz says:

    Another wannabe tyrant that needs to be dead.

  23. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    Every story about anywhere but Illinois and California always brings out the Illinois and California whiners.

  24. avatar Urbie says:

    PA just entered the 20th century in allowing us to hunt with semi-autos. Also, until fairly recently, we were unable to purchase alcohol in grocery stores. If this schmuck thinks he is going to over rule the swath of land between philadelphia and pittsburgh he is out of his mind.

    1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      But I thought they’d be scooping drunks out of the gutters if they allowed alcohol sales in every corner grocery store. How did they do an end-run around AFSCME?

      1. avatar Guardiano says:

        In-store “cafes” with separate registers.

  25. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    He also made a fortune from speaking gigs and didn’t declare the income or perks….

    He also gets his finances managed by a ‘professional firm’, would this mean no guns for him under the recently annulled Obama Executive Order?

    Please note he also is the vice chair of the PA ‘SAFE’ caucus, a gun grabbing right denying organization.

  26. avatar billy.hill says:

    Rolling Rock??? WTF over??? Yuengs and wings is the way to go…

  27. avatar Mark says:

    All I can is, that if I lived anywhere in the state of PA I would be stocking up on ammo for all of my firearms. I think I would need a second safe, one just for ammo.

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      Sims is a Philly twit. He pulls stunts like this constantly. Not to sound complacent, but we’ve managed to contain this stupid to a few urban centers and we are used to it. Yes it takes eternal vigilance to keep it in check but this kind of idiocy isn’t going anywhere.

  28. avatar justaman says:

    Philly passes all kinds of asinine laws,soda taxes, tobacco taxes,. Just say no and purchase elsewhere .

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