Anti-2A legislators plan to end online ammunition sales by requiring face-to-face transactions and licenses. Fourteen Democrats led by U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey sponsored H.R. 1207 the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2021 House bill targeting online ammo purchases.
The bill requires all ammunition sellers to obtain licenses to trade in bullets. Currently, only ammunition importers and manufacturers require federal licenses. Additionally, the bill prohibits licensed sellers from shipping ammo to an unlicensed person, thus forcing all ammo transfers to take place physically.
The buyer must present a valid identification document, and the seller must verify the document containing the buyer's photo.
Sellers must also report if an unlicensed person buys 1,000 bullets within five business days. The seller must submit the report before the end of the fifth business day or the day when the “bulk” purchase occurred.
“Each licensee shall prepare a report of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever the licensee sells or otherwise disposes of, at one time or during any 5 consecutive business days, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an unlicensed person.”
California banned online ammo sales and imposed ammo background checks after passing Proposition 63 in 2016. However, the prohibition requirement locked out thousands of law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to stop criminals from buying ammo.
About 60,000 law-abiding citizens were locked out, while only about 200 prohibited persons were stopped, and a double-digit were investigated or prosecuted. Banning online sales also caused long queues at gun shops, preventing many non-prohibited persons from acquiring ammunition.
After the Aurora, Colorado, shootings, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, with similar requirements as the current proposal.
Six states, California, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have ammunition background checks. Connecticut requires “ammunition certificates” for ammo purchases, while Illinois requires Firearm Owners Identity Card (FOID) for ammo and firearm sales.
Both California and New York have point-of-sales ammo background checks. Massachusetts requires that buyers present a valid firearm permit to buy bullets, while New Jersey requires licenses for certain ammo types.
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