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Will the U.S. Government Ban the Sale of Ammo Online?

Ammo Sales
Image: Creative Commons.

Ammunition has been in short supply in recent months, and it could be well into the second half of the year or even later until supply is able to meet demand.

Strong sales of firearms in the past year since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as a slowdown in production as many suppliers were forced to shutter during last year’s stay-at-home orders, have led to empty shelves.

Ammo Sales Online: RIP? 

Many consumers have taken to regularly shopping from their computers and mobile devices instead, and while many websites are also selling out as fast as inventory is posted, the days of online ammo sales could be coming to an end.

It could also spell the end of private sales of ammunition.

House Resolution (H.R.) 1207 – Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2021 – was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.). It would require a fare-to-face purchase of ammunition, require licensing of “ammunition dealers” and require reporting of bulk purchases of ammunition.

According to the wording of the bill, “bulk purchases” would include the sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an unlicensed person at one time or during any five consecutive business days.

The bill, which has thirteen Democratic co-sponsors, has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

According to Skopos Labs, a New York analytics firm of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, and data engineers, there is only a one percent chance the bill would be enacted. This is because it would still need to be sent to the full House of Representatives for a vote, and then be passed by the Senate before being sent to the President’s desk. It is unlikely even if it gets a floor vote in the House that the Senate Republicans would support the measure.

At this point, the bill may be more about the publicity it can give both sides.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) posted on social media, “I have complete confidence that President Biden will take gun violence seriously and will work to enact common sense gun legislation into law.”

Fellow South Carolina native Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham counted, “Any effort to unconstitutionally restrict gun ownership, I will fight. Any effort to deny people the ammunition to have a gun, I will fight.”

Currently, six states regulate ammunition sales and require purchasers to pass a background check or have a state-issued firearms license or permit to purchase ammunition. California is among the states that currently has such restrictions in place.

It is also worth noting, as reported, that such tracking has been in place previously. The Gun Control Act of 1968 actually required all ammunition sales, including rimfire ammunition, to be logged into a bound book kept by the seller.

However, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) found such practices to be of little value to law enforcement. The record-keeping was repealed in 1986 by Congress as part of the Firearms Owners Protection Act.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.