Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) was joined today by local law enforcement officials to call on Congress to pass the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act and other measures to protect the American public from senseless gun violence.
"Assault weapons and high-caliber ammunition should not be available to the general public. They are not used to protect one's home and are not used for hunting," said Lowey. "They are, quite simply, weapons of war designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. With the recent tragedies in Aurora and Oak Creek, Congress must take action to prevent gun violence."
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said, "The practice of purchasing large amounts of ammunition over the Internet is fraught with potential dangers. For one, the buyer has no human interaction with a trained weapons retailer, allowing possible warning signs to go unnoticed. This proposal to ban anonymous bullet purchases on the web will not infringe upon Second Amendment rights, but would simply help ammo dealers spot trouble through photo ID checks and mandated record keeping. Limiting online ammunition sales will keep our communities safer."
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Jackie Hilly said, "Our nation has been shocked by two horrific massacres in as many weeks with 70 people shot in Aurora and 7 more in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. We can and must do more to prevent this senseless violence in the future. The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act is an important step to make our communities safer. We need leadership in preventing deaths and not just condolences. Congress must act to adopt this common sense legislation now and show commitment to saving American lives."
The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act would ensure that ammunition dealers responsibly distribute their products. Ammunition would have to be purchased in person so that a proper inspection could be conducted. Additionally, the bill would require dealers to alert the authorities to the sale of more than 1,000 rounds within five days in order to help law enforcement monitor potential threats.
Lowey is an advocate of a number of other measures aimed at reducing the number of casualties that are a by-product of gun violence. She has supported legislation that would prohibit ammunition colloquially referred to as "cop-killer bullets;" close loopholes that allow people to avoid background checks when attaining weapons; and improve digital records of gun transactions.
"It should not take another tragedy for us as a society to evaluate our laws and debate the merits of commonsense gun policies," continued Lowey. "An average of 34 people per day is killed due to preventable gun violence. After Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and now Oak Creek, we cannot wait until the next tragedy to act."