January 26, 2023

Reps. Watson Coleman, Mfume Reintroduce Bill to Place Safeguards on Online Ammunition Sales

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Congressman Kweisi Mfume (MD-7) announced the reintroduction of 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 Republicans has been moments of silence and continued inaction. Gun safety policies shouldn’t have to wait for tragedies like Las Vegas, Colorado Springs and Uvalde 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.”

“Mass shootings are not going to stop on their own. We’ve been living with this scourge of violence for so many years as assault weapons and enormous amounts of ammunition continue to fall into the hands of diabolical people,” said Congressman Mfume. “We cannot keep waiting for the next mass shooting. I thank Congresswoman Watson Coleman for her leadership and am proud to co-lead this effort to protect innocent lives of men, women, and children going forward.”

On January 21st, 11 innocent people were killed in a matter of minutes at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California in what is the deadliest mass shooting in Los Angeles County. This shooting represented just the deadliest day in what is already a record-breaking January in which 73 have been killed in 40 mass shootings.

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 3800 mass shooting incidents resulting in the deaths of over 4000 people. In 1996, Australia enacted common-sense firearm regulations following a mass shooting, and gun deaths were cut in half. In the U.K., just one school shooting pushed the government to pass life-saving gun violence prevention measures. New Zealand banned assault weapons almost immediately after the Christchurch massacre.  

The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act is cosponsored by Reps. Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Andre Carson (IN-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Donald Payne (NJ-10), and Mike Quigley (IL-05).