Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Gun Control: Officials Set Sights On Ammunition Background Checks
Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg Times) ^ | February 1, 2013 | Peter Jamison,

Posted on 02/01/2013 11:14:36 AM PST by Iron Munro

Without bullets, slugs or shot, a gun is no deadlier than a steel club. But the question of how to keep firearms' lethal projectiles out of the wrong hands has historically been a low priority for regulators more concerned about the guns themselves.

That could be changing. As the nation debates competing proposals to reduce gun violence, some law enforcement leaders and elected officials argue it's time to examine an area they say is especially devoid of common sense regulation: the buying and selling of ammunition.

They say there is an obvious inconsistency in federal and state law. While it is illegal for certain classes of potentially dangerous people — such as felons and the mentally ill — to possess bullets, nobody's checking. Ammunition buyers don't have to undergo the background checks required of gun purchasers.

"My view of it is that it becomes, in essence, a meaningless law," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, referring to the largely unenforced provisions of federal and Florida law that bar convicted criminals from possessing ammunition. "It's a law without any teeth."

A background check for ammunition as well as guns, Gualtieri said, "makes all the sense in the world to me."

Gualtieri is an elected Republican, but his rationale is similar to that of a prominent politician from the other side of the political spectrum. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, has introduced a bill that would establish universal background checks for ammunition purchases. The law would also increase record-keeping obligations for ammo sales and require retailers to notify the police when one person buys more than 1,000 rounds.

Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times by phone Thursday from Washington, Blumenthal said his proposed legislation was rooted in the concerns expressed to him by police in his home state.

"My bill originated from my conversations with law enforcement officials," Blumenthal said. "They told me, 'Here's a glaring gap in the law.' " Such checks, he added, are "common sense, and common ground for anyone who wants to enforce the existing laws."

Hillsborough County sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski said any proposal to expand background checks to include ammunition should be scrutinized to determine that it "doesn't, in fairness, overburden some of the businesses" that sell most of their merchandise to law-abiding customers.

But in light of the existing system's shortcomings, she said, ammo background checks are "something we need to look into."

The massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., might not have been affected by tighter ammo regulation. The 20-year-old gunman at Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza, had no criminal record. But in Pinellas County, another chilling case demonstrates the existing laws' shortcomings.

Benjamin Bishop, an Oldsmar 18-year-old, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Authorities say he killed his mother and her boyfriend in October with a shotgun. Bishop had a criminal record, so he had to have a friend buy the gun for him, detectives say.

The ammunition was a different story. In a jailhouse interview with the Times, Bishop said he twice went to an Oldsmar gun store to buy rounds of ammo for the weapon. He said he was struck by the ease of the transaction compared to the challenges he faced getting a gun.

"I guess you're allowed to buy ammunition without a background check or anything," he said. Bishop's assessment: "It was pretty easy."

While the crime Bishop is charged with committing is unusual, his casual bypassing of ammo restrictions might not be. A 2006 study that tracked ammunition in Los Angeles found that "prohibited possessors" bought more than 10,000 rounds of ammo at legitimate retailers over a six-month period. The study found that 2.6 percent of buyers, on average more than one in 50 people, was barred by law from owning ammunition.

"I'm not interested in entering a debate about banning firearms. It's not going to happen," said George Tita, the study's lead author and a criminology professor at the University of California, Irvine. However, he said, "We have an obligation to keep the firearms, ammunition — whatever anyone is not legally able to possess — out of possession."

Not everyone agrees that background checks are the sensible way to accomplish that goal.

"It's like saying you can't buy gasoline unless you have a car," said Marion Hammer, executive director of the National Rifle Association's state lobbying arm, the Unified Sportsmen of Florida. Hammer said requiring background checks for ammunition would be redundant, because the law already prohibits certain people from owning ammo.

She said requiring background checks for both ammunition as well as guns would be a strain for the state's law enforcement computer systems.

"We have enough laws on the books already without new laws and without overloading the system for ammunition," she said. She continued, facetiously, "Why don't we have background checks on people who want to buy steak knives?"

In Florida, gun background checks are processed through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Agency spokesman Keith Kameg said that each check takes about a minute. The total time it takes a retailer to call the department and receive a response, start to finish, is about four minutes, he said.

"It's a very simple law enforcement tool," Blumenthal said. "The burden is minimal to the government, and the gun shops, and to the individual."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ammunition; banglist; guncontrol; guns; secondamendment
Their perfidy and underhandedness has no bottom.
1 posted on 02/01/2013 11:14:42 AM PST by Iron Munro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

A never ending supply of Libtards wanting to become the Ammo Salesman of the Year.


2 posted on 02/01/2013 11:17:11 AM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

Ya...I’ve been doing background checks on ammo.....

...and there isn’t any.....


3 posted on 02/01/2013 11:19:39 AM PST by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

Guns were the head fake, go for the ammo now. Ammo availability is so bad now, any serious talk about doing this will only worse the supply situation. You can’t even reload very easily right now. Components are scarce too.


4 posted on 02/01/2013 11:21:17 AM PST by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
Criminals have need of very little ammunition.

Target practice is where 99% of ammunition goes.

5 posted on 02/01/2013 11:22:04 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

If, as the sheriff says, a law “has no teeth” who are we to blame for that and how is another law going to solve that? Why is this not used as one of the many add-on charges that prosecutors so love? You know, the ones that G. Gordon Liddy used to refer to like “felonious mopery”, etc.


6 posted on 02/01/2013 11:22:28 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
Confiscation
7 posted on 02/01/2013 11:22:56 AM PST by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Don't enable Tyranny)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

Obummer just bought n millions of rounds- background check the bastard


8 posted on 02/01/2013 11:23:34 AM PST by bunkerhill7 (The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

If the gun-grabbers succeed at limiting magazine capacity, it will only be a matter of time before they will proposed limits on the amount of ammunition or reloading components that a person can possess at any one time. Get ready for a regulation defining reloading as “manufacturing”, an activity that will require a federal license. Like the FFL, the day will come when buying components will be regulated.

So, at what point is the Second so infringed that a having a Constitutional Convention could be discussed?


9 posted on 02/01/2013 11:24:03 AM PST by theBuckwheat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
on another note, can anyone verify that the US military is now destroying their once fired .223 brass instead of selling it to public business for redistribution and reloading purposes?
10 posted on 02/01/2013 11:25:40 AM PST by drypowder
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

So will this go as far as reloading components are concerned? I have enough brass to last me a lifetime. I can mold my own bullets for handguns. I have been thinking about swaging jacketed bullets, but the investment is significant. I hope I am not driven to learning how to make primers and gun powder from scratch.


11 posted on 02/01/2013 11:27:16 AM PST by ConservativeInPA (Molon Labe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: drypowder

on another note, can anyone verify that the US military is now destroying their once fired .223 brass instead of selling it to public business for redistribution and reloading purposes?


That is widely understood, and I believe undisputed.

But I recall that they don’t destroy the metal. They sell the scrap to the Chinese.


12 posted on 02/01/2013 11:29:21 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Universal Background Check -> Registration -> Confiscation -> Tyranny -> Genocide)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: drypowder
on another note, can anyone verify that the US military is now destroying their once fired .223 brass instead of selling it to public business for redistribution and reloading purposes?

Back around 2009 the government set that policy but, supposedly, the directive was rescinded shortly after.

Surplus U.S. Military Brass Remains Available — Mutilation Orders Reversed


13 posted on 02/01/2013 11:34:58 AM PST by Iron Munro (I Miss America, don't you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: drypowder
on another note, can anyone verify that the US military is now destroying their once fired .223 brass instead of selling it to public business for redistribution and reloading purposes?

I bought a bunch of Lake City 5.56 last summer, so it would be a new policy. Since I am not in need for brass, I only casually see what is available on websites. Lately, that has been just about nothing. I buy from smaller outfits that actually sell in bulk vs. Midway, CheaperThanCrap and their likes.

14 posted on 02/01/2013 11:38:38 AM PST by ConservativeInPA (Molon Labe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
While it is illegal for certain classes of potentially dangerous people — such as felons and the mentally ill — to possess bullets,

Funny, nothing I've read in the 2nd Amendment reads like that...in fact, it's just the opposite.

15 posted on 02/01/2013 11:39:39 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beelzebubba
Inquire with DRMO. I once delivered tens of thousands of ammo brass among other things to them.

Website fact sheet. Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)

16 posted on 02/01/2013 11:39:47 AM PST by Red Steel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

One pound of Unique powder, 1000 small pistol primers, 25 pounds of wheel weights, will reload 1000 rounds of 9x19mm (9mm Luger) or 38 Special ammo.


17 posted on 02/01/2013 11:55:38 AM PST by MCF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

glad that I have reloaded for years. That said, the intrusion into our daily lives is rapidly approaching the ‘get a rope’ stage.


18 posted on 02/01/2013 11:57:30 AM PST by nobamanomore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: MCF
One pound of Unique powder, 1000 small pistol primers, 25 pounds of wheel weights, will reload 1000 rounds of 9x19mm (9mm Luger) or 38 Special ammo.

I have heard that smokeless powder tends to "decompose" slowly during long term storage. Is there any truth to that? If that is even partially true, does it also happen to assembled ammunition stored under "cool and dry" conditions?

I don't remember the exact citation but it came from a "reloading notes" section in a gun magazine. The issue came up when someone writing to the column author noticed a "fine reddish brown powder" as he was filling his powder measure from the bulk storage can. I don't recall if it was double base powder, ball, extruded, shotgun, rifle, or whatever. He did check several other cans and found the same residue.

I've also heard tails of people shooting WWI issue military ammo and most of it still functions after 100 years in storage. Is there any data available on shelf life of commercial Vs hand reloaded ammo?

Regards,
GtG

PS Do you use "wheel weight" metal as is or do you alloy it with lead or bar solder?

19 posted on 02/01/2013 1:01:10 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

If they do this, we’ll pick a “buy ammo day” and all of us will go out and buy a half dozen boxes of 22LR, on box at a time, and make them process the check for each one.


20 posted on 02/01/2013 1:04:32 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: drypowder

A friend is looking into bidding on 16,000# of 5.56 brass, so I don’t think they’re currently destroying it.


21 posted on 02/01/2013 1:10:46 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

The 1968 GCA required that the seller record the name, address, and ID (license, etc) before anyone could buy any kind of ammo that could be used in a handgun — which after the Thompson Contender, meant any kind of ammunition of any kind. It was repealed in about 1986 when it was found that no one had ever used that information to solve any case, ever.

A few years later (late 1980’s) I tried to buy some ammo from somewhere and was told that I had to fill in the form that was kept on the counter where anyone could see it. I refused and told them that was no longer law. About a week later the place removed their form from the counter.


22 posted on 02/01/2013 1:32:01 PM PST by jim_trent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
This is nonsense. The average criminal probably doesn't use a 50-round box of ammunition in a lifetime. The target shooter or hunter probably goes through several boxes a year. This legislation won't do anything to stop crime.
23 posted on 02/01/2013 1:39:01 PM PST by JoeFromSidney ( New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. Buy from Amazon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gandalf_The_Gray

“I have heard that smokeless powder tends to “decompose” slowly during long term storage. Is there any truth to that? “

Nope. You can buy WWII surplus ammo still and it shoots just fine. Powder will outlive you and your grandchildren.


24 posted on 02/01/2013 2:22:07 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
"I guess you're allowed to buy ammunition vote without a background check or anything," he said. Bishop's assessment: "It was pretty easy."
25 posted on 02/01/2013 2:40:05 PM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

Since the libs have stopped undesirables from obtaining firearms with thousands of laws, why is another law regarding ammunition necessary for firearms they don’t have?


26 posted on 02/01/2013 3:01:34 PM PST by School of Rational Thought (Fun for women ages 21 through 35)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

I saw a blurb that stated the amount of ammo criminally misused in any given year would fit in a small closet. It’s a tiny, insignificant fraction of the billions of rounds expended annually in the US.


27 posted on 02/01/2013 4:54:30 PM PST by barefoot_hiker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: JoeFromSidney
This legislation won't do anything to stop crime.

IMHO - It's not about crime. It is all about control and forced regimentation of the segment of the population that hasn't voluntarily walked away from freedom and moved onto one of the the government plantations. The claim of fighting crime is just a convenient cover.

Notice that the real advocates of gun control ignore the data that shows that gun control in laces like Chicago, New York and Washington doesn't work. Or that the old assault weapon ban did nothing to reduce crime.

They cannot win an argument against facts so they appeal to emotion, feelings and hate.


28 posted on 02/01/2013 5:11:55 PM PST by Iron Munro (I Miss America, don't you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

Gee, I’d hate to think making unregistered ammo could become a lucrative new hobby business.


29 posted on 02/01/2013 5:17:15 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum
Criminals have need of very little ammunition. Target practice is where 99% of ammunition goes.

True.

But with the politicians and their selected toadies in "law enforcement" working at warp speed to turn currently law-abiding citizens into criminals, I think about 99% of the ammunition now in hand is apt to stay in ready storage.

After this is all sorted out, if these miserable commies manage to make a huge new "criminal" class, then that "criminal" class will figure out just how to use it up. It is getting less and less likely much of it will go for "target practice", at least in the traditional sense. Those days are about over.

These fascist pricks are sowing the wind. If they are not very careful, they will surely reap the whirlwind - and justly so.

30 posted on 02/01/2013 5:39:12 PM PST by Gritty (The purpose of the Constitution is to insulate personal freedom from the lust for power-A.Napolitano)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

The background check to purchase a firearm was about 30 min 18 mos ago. When I made a purchase just before Christmas it was 3 weeks. I’m not ready to wait 3 weeks to buy a lousy box of ammo or pay double the cost because now the stores have to hire someone to process all the background checks. Enough is enough!


31 posted on 02/01/2013 5:45:49 PM PST by Mom MD (A million people attended Obamas inauguration. 14 of them actually missed work)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

The background check to purchase a firearm was about 30 min 18 mos ago. When I made a purchase just before Christmas it was 3 weeks. I’m not ready to wait 3 weeks to buy a lousy box of ammo or pay double the cost because now the stores have to hire someone to process all the background checks. Enough is enough!


32 posted on 02/01/2013 5:49:50 PM PST by Mom MD (A million people attended Obamas inauguration. 14 of them actually missed work)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

What makes these fat 70 IQ government slobs think they can protect their ammo stash?

When TSHF, they’ll be the ones getting disarmed.


33 posted on 02/01/2013 6:10:30 PM PST by sergeantdave (The FBI has declared war on the Marine Corps)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gandalf_The_Gray

Here’s a good article on old powder: http://www.ronspomeroutdoors.com/blog/danger-old-gunpowder-can-kill-you/

I watch for a strong smell and rust on the can or on the powder. I had a cardboard can get the bad smell once, it was decades old. And a 3 lb can of pistol powder got the bottom wet during a move once. The can had cardboard sides and managed to wet some of the powder so it caked. Both of those got tossed. Besides that, I have many 30 year old cans working fine.

My old gunsmith buddy used to drive to the Hodgdon plant in the 60s and fill paper grocery bags with their powders, which were H4831 and H4350. He would load the trunk with the folded and stapled bags and drive back home, then divide them amongst his shooting friends. That was WWII surplus powder.


34 posted on 02/01/2013 6:12:44 PM PST by eartrumpet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: G Larry
Ya...I’ve been doing background checks on ammo.....

...and there isn’t any.....

That's no joke. Popped into my local Gander Mountain again today and not a single round of handgun ammo available. Not one. Salesman told me that they have people camping out on Wednesday night waiting for the weekly Thursday gun delivery to arrive and anything resembling a so-called assault weapon gets sold as soon as they unload the truck. It's actually worse than it was a few weeks ago.

I typically scoff at conspiracy theories but I can't help but start to wonder if the government isn't buying everything up?

35 posted on 02/01/2013 6:26:37 PM PST by Drew68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gandalf_The_Gray
I have a can of IMR4350 with a lot number from 1992 that has decomposed with a lot of the reddish dust (nitric oxides). I have moved it to my back yard away from the house. I have another can of the same powder from 94 that has no sign of decomposition. Recently I loaded some .308 rounds with some IMR4064 that was starting to show some red dust in the funnel but it still smelled fresh. Those rounds shoot fine. I have some surplus ammo with a 71 headstamp that shoot fine. I have shot 100+ year old ammo in my Mauser.

So yes, power can go bad but is is rare. In the 30 years I have been reloading those are the only instances I have seen smokeless powder go bad.

36 posted on 02/01/2013 6:32:02 PM PST by dmcnash (Back off! I'm a Scientist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Gandalf_The_Gray

I am currently loading 44 special and 38 special with Alcan AL-5 and AL-8. These powders ended production around 1973 so I’m reloading with 40 year old powder and it works fine. i’m also using Hercules (now Alliant) Reloader 21 which is also about 40 years old. You are right about storing powders, keep then cool and dry.
You can use straight wheel weight but I use lyman #2 formula: 9 lbs. WW & 1lbs. 50/50 bar solder. Alox to lube and size bullets .002 over groove diameter


37 posted on 02/01/2013 8:44:04 PM PST by MCF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
""Why don't we have background checks on people who want to buy steak knives?""
38 posted on 02/01/2013 9:40:12 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dmcnash; eartrumpet; CodeToad; MCF
I want to thank one and all for responding to my questions about the stability of smokeless powder. Your responses are the sum of many years of experience and such knowledge is hard to come by (except perhaps on a forum like FR). The results are not as I expected, two of you had no problems at all and two had sporadic problems. This led me to conclude that there is a potential problem but it doesn't occur on a regular basis.

I did some background research on the manufacture of smokeless powder and other nitrated compounds (explosives, not propellants). The nitrification process is the same for all of them. Cellulose is treated with nitric acid which produces nitrocellulose and water as a byproduct. This produces a poor grade of end product and the yield is low because the presence of water stops the reaction. To address these problems a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids are used instead of just nitric acid. The Sulfuric acid does not enter into the reaction as such but it is "hydrophylic" (water loving) and it removes the water byproduct of the nitrification reaction as fast as it forms, allowing the main reaction to go to completion.

At this point the acid soaked nitrocellulose is "washed" with cold running water to remove ALL traces of acid from the finished product. ANY REMAINING ACID WILL CAUSE THE PRODUCT TO BE UNSTABLE. This is true of a low explosive like nitrocellulose and also high explosives like nitroglycerin. It is possible to use this basic process to produce explosive compounds from glycerin, propyl-glycol, ethyl-glycol, ethanol, methanol, isopropanol, and mannitol (virtually any alcohol).

When working with the more complex nitrated compounds the "washing" process becomes more important as the complex molecules tend to decompose more rapidly. It is possible that spontaneous explosions may occur as rapid decomposition becomes a chain reaction. I found no references to this occurring with any nitrocellulose based powder. However, nitrocellulose does mix readily with any of the above mentioned alcohol based explosives and may be used to produce a "double based" powder. I believe that nitroglycerin is used in such powders and it does display such stability issues. I would recommend that users of double base powders refrain from storing large quantities of such for long periods of time. You are putting your faith in the manufacturer's quality control to a rather large degree.

Regards,
GtG

39 posted on 02/02/2013 2:19:02 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson