85ºF

Wasserman Schultz says bill would close 'gaping loophole' on ammunition purchases

Florida congresswoman wants background checks like those in place for gun buyers

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A Florida congresswoman said Monday that a bill she recently filed in the U.S. House, along with a companion bill in the U.S. Senate, would close a federal loophole that allows anyone to buy ammunition.

The announcement by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., comes days after students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School traveled to Washington to participate in the "March for Our Lives" event to end gun violence.

"Saturday was a launch pad," Wasserman Schultz said, joined by teachers and students from the Parkland school, where 17 people died in a mass shooting on Valentine's Day. "Anyone who thinks that was the end is sadly mistaken."

Federal law already prohibits the sale of weapons or ammunition to felons, domestic abusers and dangerously mentally ill individuals.

"And yet, unlike firearms purchases, someone who wants to go into a store that sells ammunition can buy as much ammunition as they want without so much as being asked their first name or any other question and walk out," Wasserman Schultz said.

Wasserman Schultz said her bill would close that loophole.

"The Ammunition Background Check Act of 2018 that I filed on Thursday, and that is being filed in the United States Senate by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, will close that gaping loophole to require all buyers of ammunition to undergo an instant background check," Wasserman Schultz said.

She said the law would use the FBI's instant background check system, which is the same one used for firearms purchases.

The bill still has a long road ahead of it before it can become law. It would have to go to a committee and be passed by a Republican-controlled Congress.