Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Tuesday he'll introduce legislation to require instant background checks for the sale of gun ammunition.
It's now against the law to see firearms and ammunition to felons, drug addicts, the mentally ill and others. But, Blumenthal said, background checks are not required for the sale of ammunition.
Under his bill, all purchasers of ammunition would have to undergo an instant background check under the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS).
“There is no rational reason why a person can walk into a store, fill their shopping cart with hundreds of rounds of ammo, pay up, and walk out without so much as giving their name. This proposal would close this ludicrous loophole,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
His office issued a press release with this background:
"The Ammunition Background Check Act would also reestablish recordkeeping and reporting requirements on ammunition sales. Prior to the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act, sellers of ammunition had to track their inventory and keep records of their customers. The Ammunition Background Check Act restores these requirements so law enforcement can ensure that sellers are complying with the law and can use seller records to solve gun crimes. The legislation also requires sellers of ammunition to report to law enforcement when a purchaser buys more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition or when a large quantity of ammunition is stolen.
"In addition, the legislation bans Teflon-coated bullets and incendiary ammunition. The current federal ban on armor-piercing ammunition exempts certain kinds of Teflon-coated bullets, as well as incendiary ammunition designed to ignite or explode on contact. Both of these kinds of ammunition can defeat body armor, and pose a grave danger to law enforcement officials.
"Background checks have worked in many cases to keep firearms from falling into the wrong hands. According to the FBI, over the last decade, more than 100 million background checks have been run on firearm purchases. The vast majority of background checks took about 30 seconds. Approximately 700,000 people were blocked from purchasing guns – including felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill.
"Under the Ammunition Background Check Act, federally licensed gun dealers could simply use their existing system to run checks on purchasers of ammunition (either electronically or by telephone), and sellers of ammunition who are not federal licensees could continue to sell simply by conducting a background check through an existing licensee or by getting a federal license."