Connecticut senator wants background checks for ammunition buyers
January 8th, 2013
04:54 PM ET
2 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. Dannyboy

    No one's been discussing automatic weapons. Read up on the subject if you want to be a productive part of it.

    January 8, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. MesaMax

    The anti-gun lunatic fringe is all out of control at the moment. They are letting their emotions do their thinking for them. We need to let a lot of time go by before this issue can be addressed logically. Let's just wait until cooler heads prevail.

    January 8, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. rs

    Good idea! A 50% federal sales tax would be good also. Finally-end gun sales at gun shows, and allow the BATF to inspect gun store records each month instead of once a year.

    January 8, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Ammo can be purchased on-line. I do it to get a good price for bullets I shoot in higher volume – like plinking and feral pig hunting. Reloading? It's easy enough to produce large volumes of ammunition.

    Those of us who believe in reasonable gun safety laws lose credibility when politicians and anti-gun radicals propose impracticable laws. Crimes are not limited by the availability of ammunition. Do the math. If a person has more than ten calibers of weapons (like many rational hunting/target practice enthusiasts do) and buys 50 rounds (one box of pistol rounds) per caliber per year they'll be buying 500 rounds. In the most horrible mass murder crimes a couple of hundred rounds will be fired. Can that really work or will it just make the gun safety crowd look foolish?

    Focus on licensed transfer of weapons, better background checks, and limiting production of unreasonable weapons of high capability and capacity. Forget the term "assault weapon" and think about capability. Those are logical areas to promote gun safety.

    January 8, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. Art Brenneman

    Please tax hammers and knives 100% as well then as they are used in more murders then gun and ammo

    January 8, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. Dennis

    Great it will be just like prohibition
    Making Booze illegal created the Chicago Mob Bosses that turned them into the Politicians of today.
    Illegal Drugs are available everywhere. Between Booze and drugs countless people's lives have been terminated and destroyed. Everyday people under the influence commit crime against persons and property.
    How many are mentally ill and non functioning because of substinance abuse. Root of violence is not an object. It is a mind set to destroy and hurt others. The jihadism has shown us to be an irrational mindset.
    The same administration that thought it was sound policy sell guns to the Mexican Cartels, and ordering the killing of people by drone, claim due process for combatants aprehended by a previous administration, but deny the same to individuals they deem worth of death without due process. Hypocrasy is the theme of this debate not rationale.

    January 8, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Craig

    Pointless.
    You people should actually try to buy a gun. The phrase "instant" does apply.
    People looking to go crazy don't need even a hundred rounds. However people who are responsible with guns should be going through at least that every other month to stay proficient with the weapon they use for defense otherwise they have no business carrying that weapon.

    This law would have done nothing to stop any of the recent tragedies. It would only lessen law abiding citizens from practicing responsible gun ownership

    I urge you all to apply some critical thinking to these issues before you allow more scoundrel politicians to further their carries but feeding off the fear and anger of the masses.
    The innocents who have died deserve more from all of us than a rush to nonsensical action or a move to deflect blame. Both sides of this are failing those who have been lost.

    January 8, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. joe

    Just purchase a reloader setup and you can make as many as you want and no one will know how many rounds you have. Just purchase the casings, bullet, primer and powder. You can even reuse your old casings a few times.

    January 8, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. Canuck

    @chupacabra
    "that way I've got more ammunition for when the civil war starts***goverment aginst the people "

    The land of the free and home of the brave is degenerating into the land of the paranoid and home of the deluded.

    January 8, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. Goodluck

    Whatever. Tax golf. Tax professional sporting tickets. You guys are the lunatics we need protection from. Good luck demoncrats, good luck. Sorry but I have not failed to plan.

    January 8, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is an idea. We also need to have people secure their weapons so only they can use them. That is part of the problem that is out there.

    January 8, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. mcskadittle

    why not a sin tax on ammo? then who could afford to fill a large magazine

    January 8, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Earl

    There are sume people who have guns for protection of their home and families. Not every gun owner dreams of taking part in a mass shooting. be careful what you wish for because once there gone thats when we realize how important they where. criminals will always find a way and the law abiding citizens will be left naked in the cold night air. my mother my wife my daughter and my sister are the ones my gun protect.

    January 8, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. Todd

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama yeah they're not Automatic. You have no idea what you're talking about. Nice try though

    January 8, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  15. tobygdry

    Its interesting to see all the comments from people that more than likely don't own firearms and have absolutley no clue about what they are talking about. Put a $100 tax on each bullet, get real. – 1st, they are either called rounds or shells, not bullets. the actual bullet in the nice litte piece of lead that comes out the barrel once the weapon is discharged. If your an active shooter that has a variety of weapons then its actually common to have anywhere from 500-10,000 rounds at any given time because its cost effective to buy in bulk because the cost per round will drop – its just like when someone goes to costco or sam's club. Guns and ammunition are already taxed by the government and in order to purchase a weapon you actually have to jump thru a lot of hoops, its not like your stopping off at best buy to pick up a new tv or computer. Usually when i place an order online with a company from another state for an ammunition purchase, some will require that i fax over an ID to verify because its their state law. Some stores do that are well in person – if the person is buying a lot of ammunition, and then the clerk may strike up a conversation to see why your getting a large amount (i usually do a mass purchase every 6 months or so, depending what i've run thru). The suggestion that gun owners be singled out and taxed to foot the bill is somewhat ludicras – let me make an point, I'm a single homeowner with no children, yet 63% of my property taxes are allocated to the local school district, and my taxes keep going up every year. I honestly think it would be fair only have people with children pay for the school system instead of people without children having to foot the bill. Its a completely different story if its on the other foot.

    January 8, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Truck Driver

    Let me reply to some people here like 'Dominican mama 4 Obama; as her statement on two blogs said "guns and automatic weapons we've been discussing." Automatic weapons are not open to the general public, in fact very very few can buy or even own one even if it was given to them so please check the laws. Next point, did anyone ever notice the guards, armed or unarmed at Your bank? Did anybody notice the security at Your local store such as cameras with a person watching for activity that is not normal so the proper security will respond? What is the cost in this? Who pays for this? Yes we all see this every day and accept it as a normal protection. But when it comes to our children we all start yelling that will cost to much and i do not want to pay, Do you say that about the money in your account? This problem is real and it has many causes like teasing in schools and parents as well as teachers doing nothing to help the first victims of the bullies that later become hurt and disturbed by this as their cry for help goes unheard, Why don;t we stop the violence before it starts and address the issue before it opens into more tragedy? Get help to those in need, every child, stop the bullies and this will end, read why these attacks happen and listen to them, understand how and why it happens and fix it there before it starts or no matter what laws are passed or the cost it will happen again.

    January 8, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  17. Joshua

    Background checks on ammo purchases? Talk about a stupid waste of tax payers money. And 1k rounds is not a lot of ammo. You can put 1k rounds in a gallon size zip lock bag. A casual shooter can go through that in less than 4 hours in 1 range session.

    100% tax lol that's a joke. Lets make everyone pay 100% on fuel or your house. We aleady have an increase in taxes when purchasing firearms, their is not ammunition loop hole. I get carded every time I buy ammo.

    Here's an idea, why don't you spend your time actually working to make our country better. You failed to produce a fix for the cliff yet your worried about making a bunch of legal citizens criminals. A war is comming that is for sure.

    January 8, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  18. Mahmoud El-Darwish

    Brilliant! My wish list of a month ago is coming to pass! Finally, our lawmakers are waking up to the 'black hole' that swallowed up all those guns- Ammunition for success in halting mass murder.

    January 9, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. Thomas

    It's amazing how much we equate Freedom and Guns together. They have very little to do with each other. Guns have more in common with bondage and the fear of death , or the power of death .

    In a world where tempers flow hot , it's to easy to use a gun.

    January 9, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  20. Dennis

    ...and background checks for matches buyers – ya know, that will prevent arsonists from...

    January 9, 2013 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  21. jacob

    How about you anti gun nut jobs look at the bigger pic you ban weapons and only gangs drug dealers and criminals will have them i say bring our troops home and clean this country up if your in a gang or watever your given two opp. 1 give yourself up.2 be shot on the spot cuz if you are willing to keep doing wat your doing then you have no right to be a U S citizen NRA FOREVER

    January 9, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  22. Frank St. Clair

    Next up: Taxing political speech by the word. Background checks for journalists. Fingerprint those speaking on the internet. All the ideas are dangerous, and there is just too much anger being expressed, which could lead to violence. No? So you only favor the parts of the Constitution you approve of? I have a better idea. Stick your unreasonable fear of guns up your .....

    January 9, 2013 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  23. Marie MD

    Great idea but forget about it in VA. You can buy any gun or bazooka at any of their gun shows with absolutely no background checks.
    @robert, yes, a lot of liberals own guns so they should pay a high tax for ammunition and guns and bide by the rules. We have rednecks in every corner of our country.

    January 9, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  24. justin

    Really? how stupid can you get.., it only took 26 bullets to murder those innocent children at sandy hook. Background checks, ammo taxes or limits will do NOTHING to solve this problem. oh, and when the bullets dry up the crazies will just use knives, swords, cars, homemade bombs or whatever else they can dream up to carry out their evil deeds, but before we get there millions may die in the ensuing civil war should stupid people like you ever succeed in destroying the 2nd admendment.

    January 9, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  25. Navy_Dude_87

    i think its a great idea. like the guy says. to buy that much ammunition in a short period of time without ANYONE knowing who u are is a problem. as for taxing bullets, i just dont know. 100% is ridiculous and will never happen, that's a given.

    January 9, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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