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Online Ammo Purchases Debated After Aurora Theater Shooting

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Ammunition (credit: CBS)

Ammunition (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- In response to the shootings at the Century 16 theater in Aurora last month that left 12 dead and nearly 60 others injured, some lawmakers are debating banning internet sales of ammunition.

Colorado Representative Diana DeGette believes the measure would help prevent criminals from stockpiling ammo but opponents believe it won’t make a difference.

Shooting suspect James Holmes had ordered thousands of rounds of ammunition online in the months leading up to the shooting at the theater.

“It’s time to close the loop hole that is allowing killers, deranged, insane and even terrorists to buy ammo online,” said Senator Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat representing New York.

He and other lawmakers, including DeGette, a Democrat representing Colorado, are sponsoring the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act.

Under the act:

  • Anyone selling ammo would have to be a licensed dealer.
  • Gun stores would have to report sales of ammo of more than 1,000 rounds.
  • The biggest change would require customers to present a photo ID at the time of purchase which would ban online ammo sales.

“If you’re going to be buying large amounts of ammo, you know what? Someone should see your face,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat representing New York.

One theory with the act would that it would raise red flags when someone tries to buy large amounts of ammunition.

“The bill as proposed would not have stopped Mr. Holmes,” said gun rights activist Dudley Brown.

He believes restricting ammunition sales will not make society safer.

“No, not a single one of them will. In fact, the only thing that will make them safer would be allowing more citizens to carry concealed weapons,” said Brown.

Brown believes the timing to introduce such legislation is all wrong, “This is using the dead bodies of people in an Aurora theater for your gun control schemes. That’s what DeGette’s doing.”

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