With help of gun control lobby, Blumenthal introduces ammo bill

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced a bill Tuesday that would require purchasers of ammunition to undergo a background check.

Blumenthal argued that his “common-sense proposal” would simply enforce existing laws that forbid felons, drug addicts, those accused of domestic abuse, the seriously mentally ill and others from buying guns.

“Right now, (someone on that list) can buy a shopping cart of ammunition, no questions asked,” Blumenthal said.

He noted that Newtown shooter Adam Laska had hundreds of rounds.

Blumenthal was joined by representatives of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in a telephone press conference to announce the introduction of the legislation, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

“How do you know someone is a prohibited person if you don’t conduct a background check?” asked Brian Malte of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The ammunition bill would also ban Teflon-coated and incendiary bullets.

Blumenthal said the requirement that ammunition purchasers undergo a background check was not included in a White House package of gun control proposals because “the administration proposed no new ideas that would require the vetting that we have done.”

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on legislation introduced last week and supported by Connecticut’s senators that would implement some of the White House’s proposal by re-establishing a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. One of the invited witnesses is National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre, who says there’s not enough support in Congress to approve gun control legislation.