Dems introduce bill to require background checks on ammunition sales

A pair of Democratic lawmakers are introducing legislation to require a background check for all firearm ammunition sales.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said on Monday they had introduced the bill, known as the Ammunition Background Check Act of 2018, arguing it would help close a “loophole” in the current law.

“Ammunition sales should be subject to the same legal requirements as firearm sales, and that includes instant background checks. … Closing this ludicrous loophole is a common-sense component of a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence,” Blumenthal said.

Wasserman Schultz added that it is “common-sense legislation” that would close an “absurd loophole.”

“Studies show it can help keep ‘bad guys with guns’ from perpetrating another mass slaughter like the one we witnessed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in my Broward County community, or the thousands of other acts of gun violence that devastate communities across the country,” she said in a statement.

Under the legislation, federally licensed sellers would run the checks for ammunition sales through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, six states include a background check as part of their efforts to regulate firearms and ammunition, with two — California and New York — requiring a background check to purchase ammunition.

The legislation comes after thousands protested in Washington, and throughout the United States, on Saturday as part of March for Our Lives, which was organized in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting.

Congress recently passed new school safety measures and a bill to bolster the federal background check system as part of a mammoth government funding bill.

But stricter gun control or background check legislation faces an uphill battle with a GOP-controlled Congress and an influential gun lobby.

Senate Democrats are expected to press for a wider gun control debate once Congress returns to Washington next month, including tighter background checks and a debate over an assault weapons ban.

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