On July 30th, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation that would impose sweeping new–and not so new–restrictions on ammunition sales.
The bills, S. 3458 and H.R. 6241, are known as the “Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act.” The bill itself has four elements: (1) A federal licensing requirement for ammunition sellers; (2) Record keeping on all ammunition sales; (3) Reporting of all sales of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to anyone without a federal firearms license within five consecutive business days; and (4) A photo identification requirement for all non-licensees buying ammunition, “effectively banning the online or mail order purchase of ammo by regular civilians.”
The two lawmakers’ contempt for “regular civilians” is nothing new, and neither are the first two of the requirements they propose. Starting in 1968, ammunition dealers had to have licenses from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and also had to keep records of purchasers. The record keeping requirement on .22 caliber rim-fire ammunition was so burdensome that it was repealed in 1982. Congress did away with the remaining licensing and record-keeping provisions as part of the “Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986” after the BATF itself said the restrictions had “no substantial law enforcement value.”