WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) reintroduced two bills to address the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in the United States by closing glaring holes in our firearms laws.
“Gun violence continues to plague our society at levels unseen anywhere else in the world,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “In the wake of tragedy after tragedy, the American people are pleading for common sense gun reform. Our failure to pass such legislation should be a point of shame for anyone entrusted with public safety, a trend I’m confident will begin to change under the leadership of Democrats in the House.”
The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, first introduced by Watson Coleman in 2015, would place limits and safeguards on the online sale of ammunition. The bill seeks to prevent acts of mass violence by requiring online purchasers of ammunition to appear at licensed dealers in-person to confirm their identities with a photo I.D, preventing unknown entities from stockpiling ammunition. The bill would also require dealers to report any sales of more than 1,000 rounds to an individual in a 5-day period — a commonsense step that would allow law enforcement to ensure such individuals don’t pose a public threat.
The Handgun Licensing and Registration Act, also led by Congressmen Frank Pallone, (D-NJ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)) would overturn an outdated 1986 law to create commonsense standards for handgun ownership. legislation includes a federal licensing and registration process for handgun ownership with minimum requirements including:
- The person seeking gun ownership is at least 21 years old;
- The person undergoes firearm training;
- The handgun owner has undergone a criminal history and background check;
- A license renewal process after five years.
States would will be allowed to opt out of the federal system on the condition that they implement a state registration system that meets the same requirements.
Polling has shown that the vast majority of Americans support these and similar commonsense gun regulations. “Our government requires registration and basic standards for voting, operating a vehicle, even opening a business. Yet, for weapons created with the single intent to take a life, we have developed a dangerous aversion to any mechanism to understand where and with whom these weapons reside,” said Watson Coleman. “Ninety-six Americans are killed every day by a gun. It’s time to give law enforcement the tools to prevent this violence and provide a record of accountability for those who seek to do others harm.”