October 04, 2017

Rep. Watson Coleman Re-Introduces Legislation to Reduce Unchecked Online Ammunition Purchases

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced her plan to reintroduce the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, legislation that would place limits and safeguards on the online market for ammunition.

“Day in and day out men and women lose their lives at the hands of gun violence and the only response from the Republican-controlled Congress, and now our Republican President, has been moments of silence and continued inaction. Gun safety policies shouldn’t have to wait for tragedies like Las Vegas, Orlando and Charleston to be considered;  we also owe it to mothers, fathers and siblings burying family members every day in Trenton, Plainfield and other cities across America,” said Watson Coleman. “Several of my colleagues and I have introduced commonsense legislation that, if enacted, would reduce gun violence and the tragic impact it has on our communities. The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act is one step in the right direction to slowing the proliferation of guns and ammunition. Americans did not send us to Washington to mourn them when it is our job to do everything we can as federal legislators to protect them.”

On October 1, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire on an outdoor country music concert festival where over 22,000 people were gathered, killing at least 59 people and injuring over 500. Police found 23 firearms in Paddock’s hotel room; weapons found were both .308 and .223 caliber. A search of his home turned up several thousand rounds of ammunition. The US makes up about 4.4 percent of the global population but possesses 42 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.

The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act would require federally licensed ammunition dealers to confirm the identity of individuals who arrange to purchase ammunition over the internet by verifying a photo I.D. in-person. The bill would also require ammunition vendors to report any sales of more than 1,000 rounds within five consecutive days to the U.S. Attorney General, if the person purchasing ammunition is not a licensed dealer.

Since, January 2015, the start of Rep. Watson Coleman’s tenure in the House of Representatives, there have been 20 mass shooting incidents and in the 114th and 115th Congress combined, the House has taken one formal action on firearm legislation – to roll back a rule that required the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system. The database is used to determine eligibility for buying a firearm.