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Friday, March 5th, 2021

Sen. Blumenthal, Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduce legislation to require instant background checks for ammunition purchases

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduced Monday the Ammunition Background Check Act of 2018, which would require instant background checks for the purchase of gun ammunition.

“Ammunition sales should be subject to the same legal requirements as firearm sales, and that includes instant background checks,” Blumenthal said. “The same laws that prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing firearms also prohibit them from amassing arsenals of ammunition, with one major loophole: there are no background checks for ammunition sales to enforce the law. Closing this ludicrous loophole is a common sense component of a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence.”

Under current law, individuals who are prohibited from purchasing a firearm are also prohibited from purchasing ammunition. While federal law requires a background check to purchase firearms through the FBI National Instant Background Check System (NICS), it does not require them for the purchase of ammunition.

Under the proposed law, federally licensed gun dealers could use their existing system to run instant checks on ammunition purchases. Sellers who are not federally licensed could continue to sell ammunition by conducting background checks through an existing licensee or by obtaining a federal license.

“This common-sense legislation simply enforces existing federal law, and will make it harder for criminals to amass hundreds of rounds of ammunition without so much as sharing their first name with a gun store clerk,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Closing this absurd loophole will not by itself stop the next mass shooting tragedy. But this popular approach must be part of our larger strategy for ending gun violence.”