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October 2012 Political Report: Colorado Tragedy Leads to Proposed Ammo and Magazine Limits

Monday, September 24, 2012

October 2012 Political Report: Colorado Tragedy Leads to Proposed Ammo and Magazine Limits

By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Like the rest of the nation, all of us at the NRA were shocked and saddened by the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., this past July. We quickly issued a statement that our thoughts and prayers were with the victims, their families and the community, then we respectfully declined any further comment during the time of national mourning.

However, opponents of the Second Amendment were not nearly so reserved. Their outrageous but predictable response was to exploit the tragedy before the police had finished collecting evidence. The Brady Campaign’s new president bragged that “Within 48 hours of the terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colo., a new campaign was launched. … [it] shows just how ready the American public is to address gun violence.”  Their “new” campaign consisted of a slick new website and Facebook page, pushing the same, tired gun control proposals they’ve been promoting for decades.

Politicians joined the fray. President Obama himself told the Urban League that “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. … they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”  The remark was classic Obama: non-committal and meaningless, but consultant-tested to look good to his political base.

On Capitol Hill, Second Amendment opponents dusted off two proposals to restrict freedoms. In the Senate, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., proposed an amendment to ban the import, possession and transfer of magazines that accept more than 10 rounds, and that are manufactured after the enactment of the amendment. Pre-ban magazines could be possessed by the current owner, but not transferred—even upon the owner’s death. The amendment provides for fines and up to 10 years in prison for violations—double the possible prison term under the 1994-2004 federal ban.

Lautenberg then teamed up with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., to introduce a bill to ban the online sale of ammunition. Of course, ammunition is ammunition, whether it’s bought online or from a local gun store or “big box” retailer. Do they really think mass murderers will abandon their plans because they have to stop by a store? They also proposed a licensing requirement for ammunition dealers and recordkeeping on ammo sales—both of which were once federal law, and both of which were repealed in 1986 after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said the requirements had “no substantial law enforcement value.”

Others have suggested limiting the amount of ammunition a person can buy, or reporting purchases they consider  “too large.” They have no clue how much ammunition is bought and sold in our country. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that 10-12 billion rounds of ammunition are produced domestically each year, while billions more are imported.

A good summary of arguments against restricting ammunition sales was recently delivered by an unlikely source—the Obama administration’s top U.S. negotiator at the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. That statement said, “Ammunition is a fundamentally different commodity. … It is fungible, consumable, reloadable, and cannot be marked in any practical way that would permit it to be tracked or traced. Any practical proposal for ammunition would need to consider the significant burdens associated with licensing, authorizations, and recordkeeping for ammunition that is produced and transferred in the billions of rounds per year.”  

The knee-jerk response is not limited to Washington, D.C. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made his bid for the spotlight by hijacking an NRA-supported bill that had already passed the legislature. He vetoed the bill, then abused his powers to rewrite it as a ban and registration scheme on virtually every detachable-magazine semi-auto rifle and countless pistols and shotguns, with restrictions far beyond the scope of even the Clinton gun ban.

All this exploitation ignores a stark reality. The suspect in the shootings was charged with 142 counts of murder and attempted murder. He also violated hundreds of other state and federal laws relating to firearms and violence. It has been reported that the college psychiatrist who was treating the suspect had notified a “threat assessment team” that she was alarmed by his behavior; but nothing was done.

No gun law in the world can remedy the deficiencies we have seen time and time again in how the authorities handle—or fail to handle—people with dangerous mental illness. Addressing that problem, rather than assailing the rights of the law-abiding, should be the real challenge for lawmakers to face.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Appropriations Act Signed Into Law With Important Pro-Second Amendment Provisions

On Wednesday, November 25, the President signed S. 1356, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 into law. Included in the bill were some very important pro-gun provisions that represent the culmination of long-term efforts by ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Obama Administration Opposes CMP Handgun Sales

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Friday, November 27, 2015

President Obama Signs NRA-Backed Measures into Law

President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It includes several NRA-backed provisions -- expanding gun rights on stateside military bases; prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from banning traditional ammunition; and saving taxpayer dollars ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

“F” Stands for Fail: Gun Turn-in Event Nets a Stack of Paper Pledges and Some Surplus Sporting Goods

Recently, we reported on Hillary Clinton’s praise for local firearm “buyback” events and her view that forcing Americans to participate ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Anti-gun Politicians, Media Exploit Paris Attacks in “Terrorist Gap” Rehash

The Paris terrorist attacks were not easily pinned on America’s supposedly lax gun laws or the NRA, but ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Michigan: Governor Snyder Signs Firearm Inheritance Protection Act

Today, November 24, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bills 225 and 226.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Overwhelming 81 Percent of Current and Former Military have Unfavorable View of Clinton

More bad news for Hillary Clinton. Coming off the heels of survey results that found the former Secretary ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Brussels Pushes Gun Control in Wake of Paris Attacks

On November 18, the European Commission expedited a plan to overhaul the European Union’s already restrictive gun control laws. The ...

Washington Times  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

White House to GOP: Worry about gun control

The White House said Monday that Republicans concerned about Syrian refugees waging terrorist attacks in the U.S. should focus their energy instead on banning guns sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch list.


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.