Blumenthal Bill Would Extend Background Checks To Ammunition Purchases, As Well As Guns

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday that he will introduce a bill to require that instant background checks – the same kind performed at gun stores on people seeking to buy firearms – be required nationally for purchases of ammunition as well.

Blumenthal, D-Conn., said that his planned Ammunition Background Check Act of 2013 would be “relatively costless” because it would extend  an existing database and checking procedure to ammunition – which he called “the necessary element for the killings that take place, whether the mass atrocities like Newtown, or the individual brutality of domestic abuse.”

The instant, electronic background checks now performed at gun stores screen prospective purchasers for felons, fugitives, drug abusers, spouse abusers subject to protective orders, and people suffering from serious mental illness, Blumenthal said. Such individuals are barred from buying guns.

Those same people are not allowed to buy ammunition either, he said — but, as of now, \”a felon who walks into a gun store can load an entire shopping cart\” with bullets, pay for them, and walk out without any check being performed.

\”Ammunition, right now, is the black hole of gun violence prevention,\” Blumenthal said during a Tuesday afternoon conference call with reporters. \”There\’s a gaping hole,\” and he said Congress could fill it with what he called a \”common sense enforcement tool.\”

The measure would give law enforcement and social service personnel an additional chance to intervene in cases where an unsuitable person tries to get what he needs to do harm to others, Blumenthal said.

Adam Lanza, who killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, had hundreds of rounds of ammunition with him and fired an estimated 150 bullets at the school, investigators have found. Lanza killed himself when police arrived, and earlier had shot his mother to death at the Newtown home they shared.

Blumenthal said that he will seek co-sponsors among his Senate colleagues and plans to introduce the bill by the end of the month.

The bill would apply to ammunition purchases at gun stores, which are federally licensed, although it still wouldn’t cover the many purchases made at gun shows; he said it’s estimated that 40 percent of all gun purchases happen at gun shows, where private individuals can sell firearms to one another without the background check that licensed gun dealers are required to perform.

That \”gun show loophole\” needs to be closed via additional federal legislation, he said, adding that he also thinks the now-defunct federal ban on assault weapons should be reinstated, along with a ban on high-capacity gun magazines that have more than 10 rounds. Lanza used 30-round magazines at Newtown. Blumenthal also said there need to be \”mental health initiatives.\”

Blumenthal said his bill would have two other features:

–It would require gun dealers to report to state and local police the \”large-scale\” purchase by any individual of 1,000 or more rounds of ammunition. The requirement would apply to several purchases of smaller amounts of ammunition if they reach a total of 1,000 within a period of five business days.

–It also would extend an existing ban on bullets capable of piercing body armor and endangering police. Specifically banned would be Teflon-coated bullets and \”incendiary\” rounds that ignite or explode on contact, Blumenthal said.

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41 thoughts on “Blumenthal Bill Would Extend Background Checks To Ammunition Purchases, As Well As Guns

  1. susan

    We also need to control bullets, primers and powder, as these reloaders can make 1,000 rounds over the course of a few hours. Who are these people, where do they live, how many rounds do own? We need to know this information.

    1. nohopeandnochange

      What we really need is better mental health care but that costs money so therefore, it will not happen.

    2. Paul Bartomioli

      In the history of any shooting, how many bullets were reloaded by the criminal? We would be better served by knowing where people with DUI convictions live and work. They have caused more havoc than reloaders.

    3. yearight

      really Susan? you can reload 1000 rounds of ammo over the course of a few hours? Where do you get your info from? Why do you need to know how many rounds they own? In your mind is there a limit?

    4. Zac

      Susan, you are ignorant. You are probably surrounded by guns and do not even know it. You SHOULD be worried about the illegal guns on your street, the felons and crack heads who buy guns illegally, not the law abiding and tax paying gun owners who would gladly protect you should you ever need it. The coward’s answer is “ban it” or “regulate it” because you are too scared to address the underlying issues. Turn off MSNBC and do your research!

    5. Jan

      Susan….it is a travesty that all these children have been murdered. But I bet you are okay with the thousands of late term abortions of babies capable of living outside the womb?? Justify that and why we aren’t outlawing the equipment that sucks their brains out and pulls them to pieces. 300,000 abortions each year in this country……but you are okay with killing babies that aren’t seen???

    6. Paul

      Why should this be public knowledge? Why should the privacy of a law abiding citizen be made public? Did you know that over 70,000 applicants for firearm purchases falsified information on the application yet only 44 were prosecuted. The laws on the books should be addressed before any new ones should be introduced. When an applicant gets rejected from buying a firearm for a criminal past do you believe he stops there?

  2. willy lump lump

    Without a gun, a bullet is useless. I’ve never heard of a gun lilling anyone unless it’s contolled by a person.

    1. jan

      There goes the old saw – guns don’t kill people, people kill people – hello? People have to acquire a gun …

  3. America Is Dying

    America is heading towards a Civil War! United We Stand, Divided We Fall. America is being divided and falling!

  4. m s

    Just think about how much money Blumenthal gets paid to come up with a ridiculous bill like this. I can picture the lines at Walmart now. Let’s see, 20 minutes for an “instant” background check, times 5 people per hour times 8 hours a day per ammunition selling store. IT’S INPRACTICABLE!

    I wonder how I can get his job.

  5. Bill S.

    Another liberal idea that will do absolutely no good. Does he realize how many more BATE employees it would take to process these NIBC requests? Oh yea, he is liberal more big government, more government dept.

  6. saxon9075

    Sen Blumenthal says it will be “relatively costless”. What is “relatively”? Who is going to be there to answer the telephone inquiry at 830 PM when Cabela’s calls to clear a purchase? How many extra employees (state of federal I am not sure)will it take to field the probably thousands of increased requests?

    The money has to come from somewhere.

    1. Kim

      that’s his whole point, Saxon. By making it nearly impossible for citizens to buy these items he hopes to effectively eliminate sales. The Supreme Court has already ruled that creating laws to inhibit the right to own and use firearms for self defense is illegal. This is effectively a ‘taking away’ of the right without actually saying so.

      Chicago is familiar with these games. They’ll now allow a citizen to purchase a handgun, but not in the city. And they can’t carry it anywhere – like to a range – for practive. And they can’t buy bullets. And they can’t load it. And they can’t take it out of the safe for any reason, etc.

  7. crackerjack

    This is typical Blumey only now he is doing it on a national level. What a waste of time. If you can’t buy the gun why buy the bullets? People will buy the bullets and sell them on the black market just like illegal guns. They are not traceable like guns so there is virtually no risk. How about working on the budget and debt ceiling Blumey? You need to help Obama figure out what txes to raise next.

  8. Michael

    Buying 999 rounds wouldn’t be a threat? I’ve spent a lot of time on the range and know safe shooters can go through large amounts quickly, so the reporting is an annoyance. That said, I’m not as naive as Blumenthal in thinking that less than 1000 rounds in the hands of anyone wishing to cause harm wouldn’t be dangerous. His rationing is of a typical politician and this is a serious waste of time. Logic has left the building.

  9. wbrukie

    will illegals and blacks be held to the same standard, or will we give them a break due to some ancient injustice or because as a minority class, they need special, albeit discriminatory, privileges?

  10. Sharpshooter

    Our war hero rushes to our defense once again….the once spat upon politican is now worried about people who may throw these objects at others….what a bufoon

  11. Mitch

    There’s got to be some ways to raise taxes in here somewhere, too. Blumenthal is a wealth of useless ideas and this is yet another one of them. I haven’t heard any outrage from him or anyone else until Newtown. No one getting riled up about 500-plus people killed by guns in Chicago this year, no one angry about what happened at Fort Hood. So instead, let’s just forget about the mental health issues that are behind nearly 100 percent of these horrible acts. Why isn’t Blumenthal and the rest of them bringing up those issues? The last “assault weapons” ban (1994-04) did absolutely nothing to deter gun crimes. Wake up and look at the real issues.

  12. Mike Jones

    Until our elected officials get rid of their private armed guards and police disarm I shall remain armed granted to me by our founders.
    A Right to Bare Arms was not intended for hunting but rather a tyrannical government.
    A society that gives up their freedom for safety deserve neither.

    1. Kim

      that’s right Mike. gun haters love to argue about lower gun violence in places like Great Britain that don’t allow guns. But they neglect to mention that the cops can’t have them either. It’s that liberal two-step again

  13. Joe

    Why wont simply showing a permit suffice? Hey Dick…want a new database? How about checking licenses, insurance & registrations at gas stations?

  14. Fred

    Really Dick, what good is ammunition with out the guns? I believe there are already laws in place to stop the bad guys from buying guns. How has that worked?

  15. offhand35

    So, legitimate target shooters, trap and skeet, other shooting sports participants who do not need a license or permit will not be able to buy ammo?

  16. dave

    So, the next step is to register the caliber and purchase quantity too I suppose, and then after that the cops are sent to investigate anyone who buys more than some arbitrarily picked number of cartridges a year, or a month, right? And of course that number will be chosen by someone who doesn’t know jack about shooting.

    I didn’t realize Blumenthal was such an enemy of the Constitution and American history. But now I know it.

    1. Kim

      if you’re a politician, you’re an enemy of the Constitution. The only way for them to continue to get away with the things they’re getting away with, is to kill the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Mark my words

        1. Kim

          repealing the 2nd would only be the start. But the truly ignorant won’t notice until they are personally are affected by the repeal of amendments that matter to them (such as the 1st Amendment in your case).

          Martin Niemoller:
          First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Socialist.

          Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

          Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

          Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

          Don’t expect anyone to be there for you, Repeal

  17. Veteran

    Again Blumenthal is talking through his lower orifice because he doesn’t know how an NICS check works, or he’s DELIBERATELY stupid. When an NICS check is performed, a number is issued and the seller or transferee must log it down and keep that log available for BATFE inspection for the next 7 years, and the state’s inspection for the next ten! This means that the WalMarts and Dicks and other non-gun-based sellers would opt out of ammo sales, and therefore his plan REALLY is to reduce the number of ammo sellers.

    It is also worth noting that Tricky Dick did NOT enforce CT’s toughest gun laws when he was the AG – he used them for his attorneys to get plea deals and almost none served time under any serious gun charges. Check the facts – ref. Criminal Law 53-202 (i), (j), & (k).

    1. Michael Miller

      That is a major issue. Not stopping and detaining anyone who lies on his application. That would be a huge deterrent to illegal buyers.

  18. michael

    hoffmanns premadana attitude breakes ct long gun purchace laws and specifications. someone must straighten them out,befor the public as seen on nbc 30 on 01/08/13 pm edition.thanks

  19. michael

    posted to earily,the public &polititions think this is the proper way of obtaining along gun semi auto,boltaction,singleshot,doublebarrel longguns.laws/rules ect are available @deep web sites or other upstanding gun dealer/shops. this commentis part of my 01/08/13 5:40 pm comment

  20. burbanite

    To Connecticut politicians:

    Connecticut caused its own problems now it wants to blame someone else.

    Your tough gun laws did nothing to save those kids, just as any new anti gun laws will not prevent it from happening again. Why will you people never, ever learn from your mistakes? It is just reprehensible that you use gun owners as scapegoats for your failure at your chosen careers, perhaps you should look inside yourselves and be honest about what you are doing and why. Make Connecticut a model for gun control? It already is a model for how ineffective it is.

    This is not a fact based argument any longer, all of you know and understand the facts just as well as I do. Unlike me, you choose to ignore them because you don’t want to use those facts to solve this problem, shame on you all.

    You and you alone are responsible for those dead babies and yet you will do absolutely nothing to make any difference.

    Sarah Brady was right when she said “the time for talk is over”, yes it is, it’s time for action and action is what you will see from now on. Like I said, this has moved beyond facts, this is now a cultural difference and the gap is ever widening.

    You people are an embarrassment to yourselves and to the rest of us.

    1. The Conn-servative

      The real issue with the left is that they do not want anyone to own guns. Period.Any hotbed issue they dislike and want changed,they will chip at it for decades until the bottom has fallen.They are very patient and very organized.In fact they are just like Al-Qaeda or Hammas. They will wait and wait.This is why our country is deteriorating.Most institutions in our country they either have full control over or are pretty close to it: K-## schooling(yes it goes beyond 12),our courts,no concern over illegal immigration or the illegal drug industry and all of it’s socio-economic problems to include illegal gun activity.Where are their concerns over 500+ homicides in Chicago last year? But hark! we need to crackdown on the current troubles with the LEGAL gun owners.What they really want is no private ownership.Even Sen.Feinstein said on 60 minutes during the debates for the first federal ban”..Mr + Mrs. America, turn in your guns..”

  21. saxon9075

    We have pretty tough laws against fully automatic machine guns yet last week in Greenwich a FEDERAL Judge sentenced a man to only a year and a day for possession of TEN ILLEGAL machine guns. Where is Blumenthal asking for an appearance before the Judiciary Cmte for either the Judge, the Attorney General or the US Attorney?

  22. Michael Miller

    Who bought Lanza’s ammo, Lanza’s or his mother?
    Blumenthal told me at a Marine Corps event that he believes in our right to guns when, of course, he was campaigning.

  23. Michael Miller

    I think any politician who is elected is totally pressured to follow the party or suffer. Blum has copped out. He is not an independent thinker. Any one of us here could come up with a comprehensive plan, that in totality, would curb gun violence.

    Bottom line:

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