A pair of New York lawmakers have announced their intention to propose legislation that would severely restrict the amount of ammunition residents would be allowed to buy at a time to twice a firearm’s capacity every 90 days.
According to State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D) and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D), the Senate and Assembly bills were drafted in response to the San Bernadino shooting, in an effort to combat terrorism. Exactly how the bills are expected to control ammo sales will be outlined when they are proposed in 2016.
“I can buy any kind of bullets regardless of what kind of gun I own. I don’t even have to own a gun to stock up on bullets,” said Simon in a joint press release, reports the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Nothing stops me from having friends buy even more bullets for me. The sky is the limit. The San Bernardino shooters had 6,000 rounds of ammunition. We need this legislation so that cannot happen here.”
Because the bills restrict purchases based on how much ammo a firearm’s capacity is, gun owners would be limited to in most cases between 10 and 20 rounds of ammunition per gun in each 3-month period. For many shooters, that much ammunition may only amount to a minutes’ worth shooting or less.
“Limiting the quantity and duration between purchases of ammunition is one step in preventing someone with criminal intent from easily accessing large quantities of ammunition,” said Persaud.
The proposals would also make violating the law a felony, with prison sentences up to four years a possibility. With strict limitations and even stricter punishments, these proposals are unlikely to make New York gun owners happy.
The lawmakers admit that the initial proposals are not written in stone, and that these bills will be a “starting point” for future negotiation. From the announcement it’s clear that the legislators are aware of some of the proposed laws’ flaws.
Strictly speaking, the logistics of selling ammo piecemeal to customers would be overwhelming, along implementing a tracking system for ammo sales and gun ownership. It also increases the liability of everyone in the ammunition sales chain from the vendor to the manufacturer, especially in case of defects or recalls, putting shooters in jeopardy.
Previous attempts to restrict ammo sales in New York have failed, in part due to the technical challenge of enforcing sales restrictions.
“The SAFE Act had its own ammunition restrictions and required ammunition background checks which were suspended after Governor Cuomo embarrassingly realized that such a system was impractical,” said the NRA-ILA in response. “It’s readily evident that the two lawmakers know next to nothing about the subject of firearms and ammunition. Manufacturers don’t even package ammunition with such a random number of cartridges in many cases.”
“This is one of the most absurd bills being introduced in the entire country,” the statement continued. “However, because anti-gun legislators in New York have a history of defying logic, we will treat this legislation as another serious attempt to infringe on your constitutional right to self-defense.”