Bill would limit bullet purchases to twice the gun’s capacity
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State lawmakers from Brooklyn announced on Monday new draft legislation aimed at tightly restricting the sale of ammunition in New York.
The Senate and Assembly bills were drafted in an effort to keep potential terrorists from stocking up on ammo, according to sponsors state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. The twin bills are backed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who worked with Persaud and Simon to craft them.
The legislation would place a strict limit on the number of bullets a gun owner could purchase over a 90-day time period, and prevent gun dealers from selling ammunition for a firearm to anyone unauthorized to have such a weapon.
“If I have a cold I can’t buy Sudafed without ID, but I can walk into any gun shop and walk out with enough bullets to arm a small army without showing any kind of ID,” Simon said in a joint release. “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. 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.”
Adams, a former police officer with the NYPD who figured in the passage of the NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, said there was a “a responsibility to put public safety first, in the face of the blood-soaked carnage of mass shootings, made possible by the calculated and unrestricted stockpiling of thousands of deadly ammunition rounds.”
“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,” Persaud said.
While the measure is aimed at owners of assault rifles, the language contained in the draft legislation would also affect owners of handguns with much smaller capacities, such as six-shooters.
Since the measure would cap the amount of ammunition to no more than twice the amount of the capacity of the weapon every 90 days, these gun owners would be limited to buying a dozen bullets every three months.
This provision is likely to make the bill unpopular with everyday gun owners and advocacy groups including the National Rifle Association. The Brooklyn Eagle has reached out to the NRA for comment.
Under the proposal, Section 270.00 of the New York State Penal Law would be amended to prevent gun dealers from selling ammunition for a firearm to anyone unauthorized to have such a weapon, regardless of the weapon type. Under the current code, only pistols and revolvers are specifically regulated. The bills' sponsors say this creates a “loophole” for those seeking to purchase ammunition for assault weapons.
Penalty for the violation of this law would also be increased from a Class B misdemeanor, or not more than three months in jail and not more than $500 in fines, to a Class E felony, or up to four years in prison with a minimum of one year.
While the practicality of limiting small-capacity gun owners to a less than a box of bullets is unexplored, those familiar with the legislation say the lawmakers look upon the language as a starting point in negotiations.