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State attorney generals urge Congress to close ammunition sale loophole

The bill would make it illegal for individuals who are already “prohibited purchasers” under federal law to purchase or possess ammunition.
Credit: Pixabay

Attorney General Mark R. Herring and a group of 21 other attorneys general sent a letter on Monday to Congressional leaders urging their support of legislation that extends existing background check requirements on firearm sales to also include ammunition sales.

Herring and the other attorney generals argued the background checks would decrease gun violence by stopping individuals who are prohibited from purchasing a gun from also obtaining ammunition.

The law would be called Jaime’s Law, which is named after Jaime Guttenberg. She was 14 years old when she was one of 17 students and teachers killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Herring said the bill would make it illegal for individuals who are already “prohibited purchasers” under federal law—including convicted felons, domestic abusers, and individuals with serious mental health conditions— to purchase or possess ammunition.

“Jaime’s Law would close a gaping loophole and add another commonsense tool to protect our communities against gun violence,” said Attorney General Herring. “Individuals who are already prohibited from purchasing firearms should not have the ability to purchase ammunition that they could potentially use to catastrophic ends. This law would help keep ammunition out of the hands of dangerous individuals, ultimately making our communities and our families safer.” 

To purchase ammunition under the new law, individuals would either have to be licensed to own a firearm or undergo a background check. Federal law already places these requirements on firearms sales and extending those same requirements to ammunition can reduce gun violence and suicide. 

Joining Attorney General in sending the letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. 

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