Reason # 1: Tracking the buyers of bullets makes it easier to regulate guns in the United States
Guns are nothing but empty vessels without ammunition and so it would help a great deal if the authorities regulate the acquisition of bullets. Anyone who should not own a gun should also not own a bullet, but because guns last longer, outlawed criminals can possess them without suspicion.
On the other hand, the lifespan of a bullet is just one shot which makes it easier to link the shooter and the purchaser. Currently, New York has a limit of seven rounds of ammunition per magazine. In addition to this, ammo dealers who register with the state, have purchasers’ records and this enables the police to get alerts in case an individual is stocking on bullets (Henderson and Trotta 1).
Tracing the link between the shooter and the buyer requires the cooperation of the dealer. This is the path trodden by Sacramento officials who require ammunition sellers to take the fingerprints and names of their customers. They transfer this information to the police who double check it with the criminal database of the FBI.
Greg Halstead, a police detective in Sacramento, says that this practice is helping them to retrieve illegal guns from homes that he would not normally bother searching through. We can also deduce that it prevents shooting crimes from occurring because the police are able to point out illegal buyers and trace them from the fingerprints.
Captain Bill Hart of the Los Angeles Police Department seconds Greg Halstead’s argument. He says that Los Angeles has become a safer place because of the records sent by ammunition dealers, which they look through to chaff out the illegal owners. Other states therefore need to follow suit and require sellers to log their sales so that illegal buyers find no place to shop for bullets (Henderson and Trotta 1).
Reason # 2: Engraving serial numbers on ammunition boxes can help regulate guns
A study by Glenn Pierce of Northeastern University states that a significant number of ammunition purchases are by illegal possessors. He goes on to add that engraving serial numbers on ammunition boxes would be a significant step towards the realization of gun control in the United States.
This is because serial numbers allow the police to easily trace the link between a bullet and a buyer. Moreover, he considers it as a move that would sharply reduce the bullet supply of the illegal market (Pierce 309). A 2005 California bill seeking to put this idea into law was shot down because the ammunition industry argues that it would lead them into bankruptcy. Other than that, they also think that the serial numbers are not always legible.
These arguments do not hold water because people’s lives are still at risk and there is a need for the Ammunition Coding System and the ammunition industry to come to an agreement that favors both sides and protects the general population (Koper, Woods and Roth 18).
Reason # 3: Restricting the purchase of bullets reinforces the ban on bulk buying to effectively regulate guns in the United States
Some authorities in the United States are already making steps towards regulating guns by prohibiting the purchase of bullets in bulk. This is a good idea but not as effective as it should be.
New Jersey, for example, places a ban on bulk buying of ammunition in the hopes that it can help curb the menace of gun violence and generally regulate guns in the United States. However, a 2004 study in Jersey City concludes that the ban on large capacity magazines has a very small impact in regulating guns because criminal shootings tend to use less than five rounds.
Therefore, this ban only serves to irk the members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation who argue that they need more that 1,000 rounds of ammunition during a typical weekend trip of range shooting (Murphy 1). We need to realize that placing restrictions on bulk buying only does not prevent criminals from laying their hands on bullets.
As a matter of fact, the state should concentrate on restricting all forms of ammunition ownership if they want to zero in on the criminals and achieve gun control in the United States. By restricting the purchase of bullets, the authorities reinforce the ban on bulk buying and manage to get effective results in achieving gun control (Pierce 310).
Reason # 4: Banning sales of ammunition via mail-order can help regulate guns in the United States
In 1968, The Gun Control Act placed a ban on the sale of bullets through mail-order and even had dealers log their sales. This was however shot down in 1986 by the implementation of The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act which generally led to the loosening of gun control (Spitzer 27).
Eliminating controls on transfers of ammunition is definitely a bad move because today we have high capacity magazines that are easily accessible over the internet. This platform allows the buyer to remain anonymous even to the seller because he does not conduct a background check of any sort (Reedy 1).
Once a criminal shooting occurs, it would be hard for the police to link the bullet to the buyer because the seller is not able to provide any substantive information about his client. It is therefore necessary to reinstate the ban on the sales of bullets via mail order to put an end to the ghost clientele and regulate guns in the United States (Lioncourt 1).
Henderson, Peter and Trotta, Daniel. What’s missing in U.S. gun control scramble? Bullets. 2013. Web.
Koper, Christopher, Woods, Daniel and Roth, Jeffrey. An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and. Philadelphia: Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, 2004. Print.
Lioncourt, Nicholas De. 11 Facts About Guns. 2012. Web.
Murphy, Tim. Gun Enthusiasts’ Hot New Idea: You Can’t Regulate Guns We Make In-State. 2013. Web.
Pierce, Glenn. “The Criminal Purchase of Firearm Ammunition.” Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (2006): 308-310. Print.
Spitzer, Robert. The Politics of Gun Control. New York: Chatham House Publishers, 1995. Print.