A New Jersey congresswoman is dusting off old legislation that would make it much harder for shooters to buy their ammo online.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman recently submitted the Stop Online Ammunition Sales act of 2015 that requires all online ammunition sales to go through a “licensed” ammunition dealer, forces buyers to show a photo ID when picking up the ammo and would mandate dealers to submit the names of buyers to the U.S. Attorney General and state police if the order is for more than 1,000 rounds.
“This bill would take the most basic steps to slow the proliferation of guns and ammunition, helping to prevent events like what we saw in Aurora, Colorado, three years ago,” Watson Coleman said. “Congress can, and must do more to keep our families safe, and we’re urging them to do just that.”
The bill, dubbed “H.R. 2283,” would also require any retailer selling ammunition to be licensed by the feds.
The bill is strikingly similar to one put forward by late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg in 2013 and co-sponsored by gun control advocates Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – Calif.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D – Calif.). That bill died in committee.
If Watson Coleman’s bill were to become law, shooters who buy any amount of ammo online would be forced to have their order shipped to a newly licensed ammunition dealer and produce a photo ID in order to pick up their rounds.
“Far too many times, we have seen the shocking images of unspeakable gun violence that could have been prevented,” said co-sponsor New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone. “Our bill to limit the online sale of ammunition is a long-overdue common sense reform that I am hopeful will spark Congress to put aside party difference and come together to help prevent such senseless tragedies.”
But the language that has sent shockwaves through the pro-gun community includes the requirement to refer anyone who buys in bulk (more than 1,000 rounds) to the Attorney General. It is unclear what the bill’s proponents want the feds to do with the information, but the chilling effect on shooters is clear.
“If passed, such legislation would end most online ammunition sales,” the NRA said in a statement. “Those who choose to continue to buy in bulk, if they can, would end up on what amounts to a massive federal registry of gun owners by caliber — a place no gun owner wants to be.”