Blumenthal Seeks Background Checks for Bullet Buyers

Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate staff member prepares for a press conference on Capitol Hill on Jan. 24, 2013.

While President Barack Obama pushes for background checks for gun purchasers, Senator Richard Blumenthal today introduced legislation requiring buyers of ammunition to undergo the same reviews.

Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, scene of last month’s killing of 20 first-grade students and six educators, said ammunition buyers should face the same instant background checks as gun buyers.

“Our goal is to stop ammunition purchases by criminals, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill  - people who are already barred by law, but exploit the gaping loophole that background checks will close,” Blumenthal said today.

The bill would require dealers to report when someone buys more than 1,000 rounds or when a large quantity of ammunition is stolen. And it bans so-called “cop-killer” bullets, Teflon-coated bullets that can pierce body armor.

A Jan. 19-20 Gallup poll found 91 percent of respondents favoring criminal background checks for all gun purchases, including those at gun shows that are now exempt. Blumenthal said the same checks should be performed for those buying the bullets those guns fire.

“ This measure is a very simple, commonsense proposal that should be common ground for both sides of the gun violence debate,” Blumenthal said.

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