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Congressional Democrats Pitch Background Checks For Ammunition Purchases

New legislation would require ammo sellers to notify the ATF of every purchase

Democrats in both chambers of Congress are proposing new legislation that would require background checks for sales of firearm ammunition.

Rep. Robert Garcia and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have introduced the Ammunition Modernization & Monitoring Oversight (AMMO) Act, which seeks to restrict the bulk sale of ammunition.

The proposed bill would prohibit the purchase of more than 1,000 rounds of any caliber ammunition, as well as more than 100 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition, within a five-day period.

It would also require ammunition distributors to obtain the same federal license as a gun dealer, ban straw purchases for ammunition, and require ammunition sellers to report all transactions to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“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,” Garcia said in a statement. “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,” Warren said in a statement posted to social media platform X. “My new bill with @RepRobertGarcia 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.”

According to CDC data, 60 percent of all gun deaths are suicides, while 37 percent result from homicide. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released figures showing that between 70 and 80 percent of all homicides are gang-related, though officials have since removed the webpage. An archived copy of the page confirms the statistic, which was posted by the LAPD’s Criminal Gang and Homicide Division.

Given the statistically smaller number of non-suicide gun-related deaths nationally, and non-gang related firearm deaths in one of the U.S.’s most populous cities, neither Garcia nor Warren offered an explanation as to how banning bulk ammunition purchases might reduce crime.

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