Connecticut senator wants background checks for ammunition buyers
January 8th, 2013
04:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Connecticut senator wants background checks for ammunition buyers

Washington (CNN) - In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, one of the state's senators announced Tuesday he will introduce legislation requiring background checks to buy ammunition.

"Ammunition is now the black hole in gun violence prevention," Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. Blumenthal said it is illegal to sell either guns or ammunition to certain groups of people including felons, the mentally ill and those who commit domestic violence. But under current law someone can buy bullets from a gun store without any review of the person's background.

During a conference call with reporters, Blumenthal said later this month he will introduce the Ammunition Background Check Act of 2013. He said the legislation will also require a seller to alert law enforcement when a customer buys more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition during a five day period. In addition, the bill calls for a ban on Teflon-coated bullets and incendiary ammunition designed to ignite or explode on contact.

"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," said Blumenthal.

Blumenthal said ammunition background checks could be done through the FBI's National Instant Background Check system known as NICS, which currently runs checks on gun purchases. The Connecticut Democrat noted that the FBI has run more than 100 million background checks and prevented 700,000 people from buying guns.

Blumenthal said he plans to introduce other pieces of gun legislation in the future.

Blumenthal was asked why he is introducing legislation now rather than wait to see what proposals come out of the gun violence task force chaired by Vice President Joe Biden. He said his effort does not preclude a larger effort.

The senator said he is trying to keep faith with the people of Newtown and elsewhere who want action to combat gun violence

Filed under: Gun rights • Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    AND, tax the everloving living hell out of all gun and ammo transactions. ALL. OF. THEM. No more loopholes AT ALL. Want revenue for the deficit? There ya go. NO QUARTER.

    January 8, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. dreucalypt

    Yes. This is a good idea. Expect the NRA lunatics to put a stop to it. But it's a good idea still, no matter how much power they bring against it.

    January 8, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. chupacabra

    Well i'll just run down there and by me a bunch of bulletts now, deer season is over here in Texas and I'm glad I didn't hunt this year, that way I've got more ammunition for when the civil war starts***goverment aginst the people and the people aginst the goverment***who will win?....I'm going with the people.

    January 8, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. steve harnack

    Why such a high number? Anyone who needs more than 100 bullets of anything over .22 should have a background check every time and a $100.00 tax on each bullet with home reloading banned for public health reasons. Free all of the pot smokers in jail to make room for the new criminals.

    January 8, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I want a background check on some of these congressmen, and I want them made public.
    Some are responsible for just as many indirect deaths if not more as these guns and automatic weapons we've been discussing.
    So long as we're asking for what we want...

    January 8, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Robert

    Good idea? I could possibly accept this but for a tax to be placed on bullets like some of you idiots suggest? At 100% tax rate? I don't think so. Before I start getting ignorant responses about being some right wing lunatic, FYI, there are plenty of liberals who own guns as well.

    January 8, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. JustAO

    Those talking about people who will revolt against tyrannical government are obviously the same folks who commit mass homicides in the name of religion or whatever fear-revenge-based reality they live in.

    January 8, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. 57strat

    A man walks into a bar wearing a mask.
    From under his coat he pulls out a gun and kills everyone in the bar.
    The next day the bar reopens with a sign:“No masks allowed”.

    January 8, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. CharlieB

    I load my own can setup the round for the need, and put the bullet I want on the round.

    January 8, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Spencer

    And now I'm curious as to how any of this will have any impact on violent crime.

    Ineffectual legislation is ineffectual.

    January 8, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. barrett

    Love your country, never trust your govt! Tax tax tax... Poor people don't hire other poor people, rich people hire poor people.. Not class warfare it's common sense. Need to stop WASTING money as well as bring our boys(and gal "pc"). Don't have a problem with not letting convicted felons buy 3000 rounds of .223 but common sense must prevail.

    January 8, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. plain&simple

    Call the 100% tax the armed guard for your schools tax! Everyone can be happy now! Next problem please.....

    January 8, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Name

    This is outrageous. The gov't has no business telling someone how many bullets they can buy at a given time. Way to go and make the rest of us who obey the law and enjoy our freedoms to be treated like outlaw criminals. Focus curbing violence by investigating the mentally ill. A big reason we the people have the right to bare arms is to protect against an overbearing gov't.

    January 8, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. plain&simple

    At what price liberty? Any clip over 10 rounds ...$100.00 per bullet...over 20 ....$200.00 up to 30 bullets. Expensive hobby,but this is America where money is king!

    January 8, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Disgusted_Republican

    What does this have to do with what happened in Newtown? Another knee jerk, liberal, big government solution to a complex issue no one is willing confront. Switzerland is rife with guns and yet it is one of the most lawful, peaceful and respectful societies on the planet.

    The Tea Party Republicans will never let this legislation see the light of day.

    January 8, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. RickK

    What a perfect answer!!!
    It's proven that most firearms used in crimes are either stolen or bought on the black market.
    What self respecting criminal wouldn't go to his local gun shop or retail store to fill out forms to buy his ammunition legally?

    Great idea Senator. This will fix everything.

    January 8, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Daniels

    Walmart, Academy, Bass Pro, Dicks & Cabelas are going to have an incredible quarter along with manafacturers. We know Obama has been insufferable for the economy but this might be a bright spot.

    January 8, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. JoeyD

    As a recreational shooter, this suggestion is incredibly stupid. First off, I am not rich. I have to save up for each time I go to a local range. In a normal session, it is very easy to use 200 rounds practicing. That alone is $40-$50 of cheap ammo. Plus range fees. And you want to charge more? And the current system is extremely flawed. I have had to wait over 30 minutes for a background check and have been told it could take hours. And that was for a handgun which for most people is a once or twice a lifetime purchase. And you want it for every time someone buys ammo? That would overload the system....

    January 8, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Mike

    Won't solve anything. People will just reload old brass.

    January 8, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. C.J.

    ILLINOIS doesnt allow for CCW, however, they still do a background check to get a Firearm Owner IDentification card (or FOID). I have to show it everytime I purchase ammo in IL. It actually costed more for this "ID" card then a CCW in Virginia and North Carolina. so maybe implementing a card like that to purchase ammo could be an idea, and be a yearly renewal with obvious background checks, like hunting or fishing licenses.

    January 8, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Todd

    I'm sorry but I didnt realize that my second amendment right being infringed upon was a good idea. Everyone who thinks that this is a good idea is ridiculous. We live in a god awful liberal protectionist America and anyone who doesn't want to be babied by the government thinks that any citizen that stands up for themselves in the face of utter tyranny is insane. My right to bear arms is a god given right that is enumerated by the constitution not granted by it. It isn't for you to decide if someone has to many bullets. Its not for you to decide who has to many guns. On top of everything else it costs the government money to run back ground checks. They have to pay people to do it and the time it takes to do it it wouldn't be profitable for the government but the democrats don't seem to think about that.

    January 8, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Brian

    As a responsible gun owner, I will say that I support the same FBI NICS background check that is used at an FFL be used and required before any gun sale. Person to person, gun shows, and as is today all FFL's. Make NICS background checks available to regular people. This CAN NOT be a registry however. It is common to go through 1,000 rounds in one weekend of sport shooting. That is very normal, and not a problem. Having a background check to purchase ammunition? How do you propose that might be accomplished? The FBI NICS background check is already far far over capacity. They can not handle it, nor should they. The biggest reason people buy ammunition in bulk is the same reason Costco exists. A person saves about 20%-40% buying bulk, and hand loading, I save about 65% over retail. Another reason, is because every batch shoots differently. If you get a large batch, then they all sight in the same. If you have to get small amounts all the time, you are constantly re-sighting in your rifle.

    January 8, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. Bob

    Why is it, that all the gun nuts think there is going to be some government take over that will lead to a civil war, and they think that it has been held at bay because said nuts have guns?
    Tax on bullets, yes! Background checks yes! Ban on assault rifles yes!
    And when they spewing the lies about only bad people and illegal guns cause probkems, remember that Every illegal gun started out as a legal one!

    January 8, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Andrew


    Absolutely there are. I am a left-of-center democrat and a gun owner. I agree with the idea of a background check and do believe that bullets should be expensive in bulk. A tax is a good way to keep large numbers off the street and pay down the deficit, but not so outrageous that ordinary citizens cannot afford them. Like alcohol and cigarettes, ammunition can bear an additional tax over the normal sales tax.

    What should not be subject to the tax are bullets purchased at a range and fired at the range, as we have a very strong interest in our gun owners being well practiced in the handling of their weapons.

    As far as the home, however, nobody really needs thousands of rounds, and those who want to accumulate them, can, it will just cost more and take longer. What tax rate? What are the additional taxes applied to alcohol and cigarettes? That would be a good place to start.

    January 8, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. wgf

    @chupacabra - "that way I've got more ammunition for when the civil war starts"

    Please let us know in advance when and where you plan to start. Those of us who are unarmed will want to leave, while the rest of you shoot it out.

    January 8, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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