Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren and California Congressman Robert Garcia have recently introduced a bill called the Ammunition Modernization and Monitoring Oversight (AMMO) Act. If passed, the bill would restrict bulk sales of ammunition, would require businesses who sell ammunition to obtain the same federal license as gun dealers, and would require businesses to conduct a background check on buyers.
Additionally, it would also apply the same prohibition on straw purchases for ammunition that currently exists for firearms. It would make it illegal for individuals to purchasing ammunition and then give that ammo to others, and it would require data sharing on ammunition sales.
Robert Garcia argues:
“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. 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.”
The bill prohibits bulk sales of ammunition based on the type of ammo. It specifically limits individuals to 100 rounds for .50 caliber ammo, and 1000 rounds for all other ammunition within a 5-day period. The full text of the bill can be found here.
Records of sales would be required and the data must be held by vendors for at least two years, while anyone buying ammo and transferring it to others without record could be punished with heavy fines and up to five years jail time.
The AMMO Act essentially places ammunition under the same ATF category as firearms while opening the door to subjective ATF rulings on ammo sales. Anti-gun lawmakers have long sought to undermine 2nd Amendment rights through the backdoor of ammo purchases. Some past attempts have included “micro-stamping” as not just a way to track each round back to a buyer, but also to make the production process so expensive for manufacturers that ammo prices rise exponentially.
The purpose of restrictions on “bulk ammo” sales is less certain. The average active shooting incident involves far less than 1000 rounds fired, so the new rule would do nothing to prevent criminals from engaging in such attacks. Shooting events involving 50 BMG ammo are almost non-existent, yet under the bill this caliber of ammo is the most restricted in terms of bulk sales.
That said, the restrictions combined with purchase tracking and background checks would be useful in identifying preppers and patriots; people who are much more likely to buy large amounts of ammo at one time. It should also be noted that few people other than preppers have an interest in spending the exorbitant funds required to shoot 50 BMG, which may explain the special restrictions on the caliber cited in the bill.
Federal agencies have consistently stated that they believe “domestic extremists” (their term for conservatives) are the greatest threat to the country. They have shifted their focus away from foreign terrorism and are aiming the bureaucratic apparatus at American citizens with constitutional ideals. The phrases “patriot rebellion” and “civil war” have been mentioned in the establishment media with increasing regularity as a growing concern for the government.
Despite the endless arguments that “an AR-15 would be useless against an F-16,” it’s clear that the powers-that-be have decided that civilian firearms access is more dangerous to them than they may have initially assumed.
Furthermore, making it illegal for the average citizen to share or resell ammo with others creates a pathway to a host of ATF intrusions and prosecutions. And, as we have seen with gun peripherals such as bump stocks, pistol braces and specialty triggers, once the ATF has their foot in the door on ammo they will exploit their newfound power to the furthest extent possible. As with most bills like the AMMO Act, the goal is to quietly whittle away at gun rights and frighten law abiding citizens with an ever growing list of potential violations. Nothing in these bills will save a single life from gun related violence.