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Blumenthal Joins Members of Congress in Introducing Legislation to Prevent Bulk Sales of Ammunition

[Hartford, CT] — U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Representative Robert Garcia (D-CA) and U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to introduce the Ammunition Modernization and Monitoring Oversight (AMMO) Act, legislation that would restrict bulk sales of ammunition, require businesses who sell ammunition to obtain the same federal license as gun dealers, and require businesses to conduct a background check on buyers. Additionally, the legislation would apply the same prohibition on straw purchases for ammunition that currently exists for firearms, restricting individuals from purchasing ammunition to then sell illegally to others and requiring data sharing on ammunition sales. Currently, there is essentially no regulation governing the sales of ammunition. Businesses are not required to possess licenses in order to sell ammo and can sell to any buyer, in any quantity, without a background check, and with no recordkeeping or data sharing. 

“Regulating ammunition sales is critical to ending the gun violence epidemic. Ammunition sales should be subject to the same legal requirements as firearm sales, including rigorous background checks. This commonsense measure will save lives by cracking down on illegal trafficking of ammunition and making sure it stays out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Senator Blumenthal.

“The bottom line is no individual should be buying bulk amounts of ammunition without a federal background check from places like gas stations, pharmacies, and convenience stores – especially without any sort of regulation and no record of the sale,” said Congressman Garcia. “If we’re ever going to really take on the gun violence epidemic in this country, we need to regulate ammo accessibility. This bill aims to protect the American public from the devastating violence that occurs when individuals have access to unlimited amounts of weaponry.”

“We have a moral responsibility to treat gun violence in this country like the crisis it is,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Ammunition Modernization and Monitoring Oversight (AMMO) Act is a common-sense step to restrict ammunition sales, strengthen federal oversight of those sales, and help end the epidemic of gun violence in America.”

“No family should endure the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. “I'm proud to work with Congressman Robert Garcia and Senator Warren to introduce comprehensive legislation closing the ammunition loophole in our gun safety laws. This bill will save lives.”

“Right now, any person can legally purchase tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition in a single transaction with no questions asked, not even a background check. It defies common sense that individuals can amass a huge amount of munitions with more ease than they can stock up on medication for cold and flu season. By limiting ammunition transactions and requiring dealers to obtain licenses and complete background checks on ammunition sales, the AMMO Act will stop the rapid stockpiling of ammunition and prevent ammunition trafficking which is crucial for preventing gun violence in America. Brady thanks Congressman Garcia and Senator Warren for introducing this legislation to help address the unlawful diversion of ammunition to our streets and across our borders with this supply-side approach to prevent gun violence,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady.

“As the tragedy in Lewiston underscored, delay equals death when it comes to addressing America’s gun violence crisis. We applaud Rep. Garcia for introducing life-saving legislation that would make ammo dealers abide by the same rules as gun dealers, which is the very definition of common sense,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety.

The bill prohibits bulk sales of ammunition based on the type of ammo. It specifically limits individuals to 100 rounds for .50 caliber ammo, the most deadly, potent military grade, and 1000 rounds for all other ammunition within a 5-day period. The full text of the bill can be found here.

The AMMO Act is endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady, Giffords, March for Our Lives, Community Justice Action Fund, Newtown Action Alliance, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR), Voters of Tomorrow, Sandy Hook Promise, Orange Ribbons for Gun Safety, and Guns Down America.