WASHINGTON — Citing the more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition bought online by the Aurora, Colo., mass shooting suspect, gun control advocates on Monday started a drive to ban anonymous bullet purchases over the Internet.
“It’s one thing to buy a pair of shoes online, but it should take more than a click of the mouse to amass thousands of rounds of ammunition,” said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., joined by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., at a New York City news conference to announce plans to introduce the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act.
The measure would require ammunition sellers to be licensed, maintain records of sales and report the sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Buyers would be required to present photo IDs, a requirement that the bill’s sponsors say would effectively ban the online or mail-order purchase of ammunition by civilians.
Gun control legislation faces a battle in Congress, where Republicans have pushed to expand gun rights and many Democratic have been skittish about the issue as their party courts votes in rural states.
A new poll released Monday found no significant change in public views on gun control and gun rights following the Colorado shooting.
According to the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 47 percent of respondents said it was more important to control gun ownership, while 46 percent said it was more important to protect gun rights.
Currently, there is no requirement for those who purchase ammunition, even in large amounts, to undergo background checks or present identification, said Ben Van Houten, managing attorney at the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Sellers are not required to keep records of ammunition sales.