WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D- Fla.) has announced her intent to pass the Ammunition Background Check Act of 2018, a federal law that would require background checks for the purchase of ammunition.
“I can assure you that Saturday was day one. Saturday was a launch pad,” Wasserman-Schultz told a room of reporters of Saturday’s “March for our Lives,” an organized protest to demand stricter gun control.
“Federal law does not require a background check for ammunition. This is just such a gaping and grave and dangerous loophole that I could not wrap my mind around it when I was told that was the case,” Wasserman-Schultz during a press conference she called to announce the proposed legislation. “Ammunition sellers across the country currently have no way to determine if a potential buyer is legal or if they are prohibited from buying bullets, which are, obviously, what kills after a gun is fired.”
The current system allows purchasers of ammo to “buy as much ammunition as they want, without so much as being asked their first name, and walk out,” she added.
If passed, said Wasserman-Schultz, the bill, which she is filing in cooperation with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.) would require would-be purchasers of ammo to be approved via FBI background check.
“The Ammunition Background Check Act of 2018 that I filed on Thursday, and that is being filed in the United States Senate by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, will close that gaping loophole to require all buyers of ammunition to undergo an instant background check,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Blumenthal, a staunch gun control activist, also posted to social media his support for the bill.
“Without background checks on ammunition sales, there’s nothing to stop dangerous people – barred from buying guns – from amassing vast ammunition arsenals. This ludicrous loophole puts lives at risk,” Blumenthal tweeted .
Under current law, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey require a background check in order to purchase or possess ammunition. California will also begin requiring background checks for ammunition buyers beginning July 1, 2019 — a move that is currently being challenged by the National Rifle Association. If passed, the bill would expand that requirement nationwide.
Meanwhile, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Tuesday advocated for a repeal of the Second Amendment.
“A concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment,” Stevens wrote in an opinion piece published in The New York Times. “Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.”
In a response posted to its website, the National Rifle Association fired back, calling Stevens’ comments a direct attack on the Constitution.
“The 97-year-old retired justice has long held the opinion that American citizens do not have the individual right to own a firearm for self-protection,” the Second-Amendment rights group wrote.
“Emboldened by the mainstream media, the gun-control lobby is no longer distancing themselves from the radical idea of repealing the Second Amendment and banning all firearms. The protestors in last week’s march told us with their words and placards that the current debate is not about fake terms like “common sense” gun regulation. It’s about banning all guns,” the statement continued.
“The men and women of the National Rifle Association, along with the majority of the American people and the Supreme Court, believe in the Second Amendment right to self-protection and we will unapologetically continue to fight to protect this fundamental freedom,” the statement concluded.
Calls for comment to an NRA spokesperson regarding the Scultz-Blumenthal bill were not immediately returned.