Loophole Here, Loophole There, Everything’s A Freaking Loophole

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When dealing with the enemies of freedom everything they don’t approve of is a loophole.

Internet loophole? Check.

Gun show loophole? Check.

Background check loophole? Check.

Sen. Richard “I served in Vietnam (not!)” Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) have come up with a new loophole that MUST be closed. That is the ammunition sale loophole. To that end, they have introduced the Ammunition Background Check Act (S.2627 / HR 5383) The bill would require instant background checks for the purchase of ammunition.

Excerpts from their joint press release:

“Ammunition sales should be subject to the same legal requirements as firearm sales, and that includes instant background checks. The same laws that prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing firearms also prohibit them from amassing arsenals of ammunition, with one major loophole: there are no background checks for ammunition sales to enforce the law. Closing this ludicrous loophole is a common sense component of a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence,” said Blumenthal.

“This common-sense legislation simply enforces existing federal law, and will make it harder for criminals to amass hundreds of rounds of ammunition without so much as sharing their first name with a gun store clerk,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Closing this absurd loophole will not by itself stop the next mass shooting tragedy. But this popular approach must be part of our larger strategy for ending gun violence. Studies show it can help keep ‘bad guys with guns’ from perpetrating another mass slaughter like the one we witnessed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in my Broward County community, or the thousands of other acts of gun violence that devastate communities across the country. It takes more than just a gun to take an innocent life. It also takes bullets. We need to do all we can to make sure neither of them ends up in the wrong hands.”

There are enough gun control buzzwords in those two paragraphs that you would be an automatic winner in buzzword bingo!

While the bill text is not yet available, their release indicates that the purchase of ammo would be through a FFL who would be required to do a NICS check or, if the seller was not licensed, then the seller would have to have a FFL conduct the NICS check. Since I don’t have the bill text yet, there is no word whether or not components would be require background checks.

If components are not regulated (and they should not be), then the enemies of freedom will have multiple new loopholes to rail about: the smokeless powder loophole, the brass loophole, the primer loophole, etc., etc.

For those not old enough to remember, after the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968 all ammunition sales including .22 rimfire ammo were required to be logged into a bound book. The requirement for .22 rimfire ammo sale logging was repealed in 1982. Finally, the Firearms Owner Protection Act of 1986 finally repealed the requirement that ammo sales be logged in a bound book. The repeal of that requirement was supported by the ATF as they said it had little law enforcement value. While Bluementhal and Wasserman-Schultz quote a number of academics in support of their bill, they don’t quote anyone in law enforcement which is telling.

This is a ridiculous bill brought by two ridiculous legislators. It should be relegated to the scrapheap of history just like they should.

H/T  The Captain’s Journal

Ammunition Background Check Act

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) plans to introduce the Ammunition Background Check Act which would mandate NICS checks for all ammunition purchases. His legislation would reinstate the record keeping requirement for ammo sales, a report to ATF whenever anyone buys more than 1,000 rounds within a 5 day period, bans teflon-coated and incendiary bullets, and require reports of stolen ammunition.

According to CNN, Blumenthal is introducing this legislation “to keep faith with the people of Newtown and elsewhere who want action to combat gun violence.”

In his press release, Blumenthal says:

Reporting large purchases of ammunition can alert law enforcement and enable proactive intervention. Large scale purchases of ammunition are the fuel often driving mass murders.

Or, more likely, it is a sign that a person either got a good deal or is planning to take a training class that requires 1,000 or more rounds of ammo for the weekend.

In addition, the legislation bans Teflon-coated bullets and incendiary ammunition. The current federal ban on armor-piercing ammunition exempts certain kinds of Teflon-coated bullets, as well as incendiary ammunition designed to ignite or explode on contact. Both of these kinds of ammunition can defeat body armor, and pose a grave danger to law enforcement officials.

Where is Blumenthal getting his info? Incendiary is “designed to ignite or explode on contact”? That doesn’t meet any definition of incendiary bullets that I’ve ever heard. Blumenthal is confusing incendiary as in tracers with certain .50 BMG ammunition such as the Raufoss Mk. 211 which is high explosive, armor piercing, and incendiary.  As for defeating body armor, your average .30-30 Winchester deer hunting cartridge can defeat most forms worn by law enforcement officers.

Background checks have worked in many cases to keep firearms from falling into the wrong hands. According to the FBI, over the last decade, more than 100 million background checks have been run on firearm purchases. The vast majority of background checks took about 30 seconds. Approximately 700,000 people were blocked from purchasing guns – including felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill.

Two points on this part of his statement. First, if you dump ammo purchases into the NICS system without drastically increasing personnel, the wait times will defeat the whole rationale of “instant checks”. My second point is when have you ever heard of any prohibited purchasers ever being prosecuted for attempting to purchase a firearm.

Blumenthal’s bill has one other fatal flaw if he plans to track all ammo – reloading.