In what could be one of the few legislative proposals to come from the recent Colorado shooting, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., on Monday announced plans to introduce a bill aimed at reducing anonymous ammunition sales online.
The lawmakers pointed to the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., where the suspect anonymously bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition online. Twelve people were killed and 58 injured in the rampage at a crowded movie theater.
"If someone wants to purchase deadly ammunition, they should have to come face-to-face with the seller," Lautenberg said at an event with gun-control advocates in Manhattan. "It's one thing to buy a pair of shoes online, but it should take more than a click of the mouse to amass thousands of rounds of ammunition."
The bill, titled the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, would effectively ban the online sale of ammunition to anyone other than licensed dealers by requiring a check of photo ID, which is difficult if not impossible over the Internet. It would also require anyone selling ammunition to be licensed, to keep records, and to report any sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Lautenberg and McCarthy plan to introduce the legislation on Tuesday.
Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, praised the legislation as "desperately needed oversight" for a largely unregulated practice.
"As the tragedy in Aurora shows, our weak laws enable dangerous people to anonymously purchase unlimited quantities of ammunition online and in stores," she said.