HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced plans to introduce federal legislation that he said would close a massive loophole in the law involving the sale of ammunition.
Blumenthal said that while convicted felons and others are prohibited from purchasing guns, there is nothing to stop them from buying ammunition.
Federal background checks are currently only required on guns, not on bullets. But the measure Blumenthal plans to introduce would require instant background checks on ammo as well.
“It would really put ammunition purchases on a par with gun purchases insofar as background checks are required,” Blumenthal told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.
Blumenthal said there is nothing to stop anyone from buying an entire shopping cart full of ammunition if they are intent on carrying out a mass shooting like the Dec. 14 school rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 students and educators dead.
“Given the huge amounts of ammunition involved in the Newtown massacre, the large purchases would have been reported, and perhaps law enforcement could have taken proactive intervention,” said Blumenthal.
Under the senator’s proposal, ammunition sellers would have to alert law enforcement when someone buys more than 1,000 rounds or when a large number of bullets are stolen.
The instant background check could be easily and quickly done by using the FBI’s national database, said Blumenthal.
“Right now, ammunition is the black hole in gun violence prevention because anybody can go into a store and buy any amount of ammunition with no questions asked and that person may be a felon, a fugitive, or mentally ill or a domestic violence abuser,” he said.
Blumenthal said he drafted the legislation after talking to a number of law enforcement officials.
In addition to the ammunition background check, Blumenthal has voiced support for the reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
The former Connecticut attorney general said his ammo proposal could be woven into a larger gun control measure.
Blumenthal said the proposal would not cost much to implement since the National Instant Background Check System already exists.
The Democrat is seeking co-sponsors for his proposal and said he plans to introduce the measure later this month.