Close the Ammunition Sale Loophole
This week, Attorney General Racine and a coalition of 20 Attorneys General sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging their support of “Jaime’s Law,” legislation which would extend existing background check requirements on firearm sales to also include ammunition sales. These background checks would decrease gun violence by stopping individuals who are prohibited from purchasing a gun from also obtaining ammunition.
Jaime’s Law is named after Jaime Guttenberg, who 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. 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. Individuals must either be licensed to own a firearm or undergo a background check to purchase ammunition.
Here is an excerpt of the full letter:
Gun violence is a public safety and public health crisis in the United States, affecting all of our communities…Over the past several weeks, America has been subjected to a rash of mass shootings, among them:
- Odessa, Texas – 7 people were killed and another 22 injured during a shooting spree following a routine traffic stop;
- Mobile, Alabama – 10 youth between the ages of 15 and 18 were wounded in a shooting at a high school football game;
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 6 police officers were wounded by a single gunman in an hours-long standoff;
- Dayton, Ohio – 9 people were killed and 27 wounded on a crowded street by a gunman with an AR-15-style assault rifle; and
- El Paso, Texas – 22 were killed and 26 injured in a race-motivated shooting at a Wal-Mart.
While mass shootings garner the most media attention, they represent only a fraction of the American lives lost to guns and gun violence. Over 14,000 Americans are killed with firearms every year. Another 100,000 are injured. And 23,000 more commit suicide using guns. This everyday gun violence impacts American communities and families in urban, rural, and suburban areas.
AG Racine works to enhance public safety and make sure guns stay out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Recently, AG Racine published an educational handout about how to use the District’s Red Flag Law to remove a firearm from people who are considered a danger to themselves or others. AG Racine has also sued to stop criminals from getting access to downloadable guns and supported bans on large-capacity magazines.