If you shoot lots of ammo—like many of our readers do—Bonnie Watson Coleman thinks there’s a better-than-average chance you are a criminal, a terrorist, or both. And she wants new Attorney General Loretta Lynch to keep a close eye on you and your activities.
Unfortunately for you and me, Coleman isn’t just your run-of-the-mill, radical anti-gunner. Rather, she’s a radical anti-gunner who’s also the brand-new U.S. congresswoman from New Jersey. And her very first piece of legislation—just introduced this week—targets American gun owners by hitting them right in the ammunition.
Coleman’s bill—called the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2015—would require federally licensed ammunition dealers to confirm the identity of online buyers by verifying a picture I.D. after a purchase is made. The bill would also require ammunition sellers to report sales of more than 1,000 rounds across five consecutive days to the U.S. attorney general if the individual is not a dealer.Coleman’s legislation is typical of people who know nothing about guns and ammunition except what they’ve seen on the TV news.
“There are plenty of ways we monitor the purchase of firearms but when it comes to ammunition, regulation seems to stop,” Coleman said at a press conference. “There is nothing keeping an individual intending to commit a large-scale atrocity from rapidly and anonymously stockpiling the needs to do so.”
Obviously, if passed, such legislation would end most online ammunition sales. As for those who still choose to shoot lots of ammunition—and, therefore, must buy lots of ammunition—they would find themselves on a registration list, not just in the county sheriff’s or local police chief’s office, but on the desk of the U.S. attorney general.
Coleman’s legislation is typical of people who know nothing about guns and ammunition except what they’ve seen on the TV news. Her cosponsor on the legislation—U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.—is apparently equally clueless when it comes to guns and shooting, stating: “This guy Holmes in Aurora, Colo., had 6,000 rounds of ammunition. Just thinking about that, it boggles the mind.”
The fact that 6,000 rounds of ammo is enough to boggle Pallone’s mind likely boggles the mind of most American gun owners. To an avid recreational shooter—not to mention competitive shooters in any number of different shooting disciplines—shooting 1,000 rounds of ammo can be nothing more than an average day at the range. And when you tend to burn through ammo by the caseload each week, buying it online to save even a few cents per round can ease your shooting budget more than just a little.
As for stopping mass murderers like James Holmes, supporters of this proposal should ask themselves if limiting ammo sales to 1,000 in five days would really do any good. Holmes reportedly shot less than 200 rounds in his movie theater attack, as did the killers at Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary. And the mass murderer at Virginia Tech in 2007—who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others— shot approximately 200 rounds, according to police reports.
In fact, we’re not aware of any mass shooting in which a crazed gunman shot anywhere near 1,000 rounds. If someone wanted to wage such an attack with more than 1,000 rounds, however, he or she could easily skirt the proposed law by purchasing 950 rounds this week, then 950 again next week.It’s easy to quickly identify bad gun or ammo proposals by seeing if anti-gun groups call them “common-sense” legislation.
It’s easy to quickly identify bad gun or ammo proposals by seeing if anti-gun groups call them “common-sense” legislation. In this case, Carol Stiller, the head of the New Jersey Million Mom March chapters, went one better—kind of a double-dog dare—terming the ammo proposal “incredibly reasonable.”
Coleman claims to have 30 cosponsors for her anti-gun legislation. That only proves that at least 30 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives believe that law-abiding gun owners are a threat and pose a danger to society.
Of course, they won’t come right out and say that. Well, most won’t. In this case, Trenton, N.J., Mayor Eric Jackson voiced the real reason he and others support the bill.
“At the end of the day, anyone who would amass mass numbers of ammunition, the intent has to be something that is not going to be helpful to our cities and to our communities,” Jackson said.
It’s probably a rare gun owner who hasn’t at some point bought 1,000 rounds of ammo in a five-day period. The real effect of the law would likely be to force gun owners to purchase ammo in smaller lots from different retailers—both inconvenient and more expensive. Those who choose to continue to buy in bulk, if they can, would end up on what amounts to a massive federal registry of gun owners by caliber—a place no gun owner wants to be.
Introduction of such a bill close on the heels of the failed BATFE proposal to ban M855 ammo used in AR-style rifles isn’t much of a surprise. We can only hope that it meets a similar fate as that ammo ban. After all, without an adequate supply of ammunition, it’s impossible to practice your Second Amendment rights.