November 02, 2023

Warren, Garcia Introduce Ammunition Modernization and Monitoring Oversight Act

Legislation to Strengthen Federal Oversight of Ammunition Sales

Bill Text (PDF)

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Representatives Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) introduced the Ammunition Modernization and Monitoring Oversight (AMMO) Act, legislation that would restrict bulk sales of ammunition, require businesses who sell ammunition to obtain the same federal license as firearm dealers, and require businesses to conduct a background check on ammunition buyers. 

The AMMO Act would additionally extend the same prohibition on straw purchases of firearms to ammunition, restricting individuals from purchasing ammunition to then sell illegally to others and requiring data sharing on ammunition sales. Currently, there is essentially no federal regulation governing the sales of ammunition. Businesses are not required to possess licenses in order to sell ammunition and can sell to any buyer, in any quantity, without a background check, and with no recordkeeping or data sharing.

“We have a moral responsibility to treat gun violence in this country like the crisis it is,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Ammunition Modernization and Monitoring Oversight (AMMO) Act is a common-sense step to restrict ammunition sales, strengthen federal oversight of those sales, and help end the epidemic of gun violence in America.”

“The bottom line is no individual should be buying bulk amounts of ammunition without a federal background check from places like gas stations, pharmacies, and convenience stores – especially without any sort of regulation and no record of the sale,” said Representative Robert Garcia. “If we’re ever going to really take on the gun violence epidemic in this country, we need to regulate ammo accessibility. This bill aims to protect the American public from the devastating violence that occurs when individuals have access to unlimited amounts of weaponry.”

“No family should endure the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence,” said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “I’m proud to work with Congressman Robert Garcia and Senator Warren to introduce comprehensive legislation closing the ammunition loophole in our gun safety laws. This bill will save lives.”

“Right now, any person can legally purchase tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition in a single transaction with no questions asked, not even a background check,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady. “It defies common sense that individuals can amass a huge amount of munitions with more ease than they can stock up on medication for cold and flu season. By limiting ammunition transactions and requiring dealers to obtain licenses and complete background checks on ammunition sales, the AMMO Act will stop the rapid stockpiling of ammunition and prevent ammunition trafficking, which is crucial for preventing gun violence in America. Brady thanks Congressman Garcia and Senator Warren for introducing this legislation to help address the unlawful diversion of ammunition to our streets and across our borders with this supply-side approach to prevent gun violence.” 

“As the tragedy in Lewiston underscored, delay equals death when it comes to addressing America’s gun violence crisis,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Rep. Garcia for introducing life-saving legislation that would make ammo dealers abide by the same rules as gun dealers, which is the very definition of common sense.” 

The bill prohibits bulk sales of ammunition based on the type of ammo. It specifically limits individuals to purchasing no more than 100 rounds for .50 caliber ammo – the most deadly, potent military grade – and 1000 rounds for all other ammunition within a 5-day period. 

The AMMO Act is endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady, Giffords, March for Our Lives, Community Justice Action Fund, Newtown Action Alliance, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR), Voters of Tomorrow, Sandy Hook Promise, Orange Ribbons for Gun Safety, and Guns Down America.

Senator Warren has led efforts to implement common-sense gun violence prevention measures that protect American communities and save lives, including: 

  • In September 2023, Senator Warren, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Representative Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-Fla.) with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) led 68 lawmakers in a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to take further executive action to combat gun violence and limit the sale of assault weapons. These ideas for executive actions to prevent gun violence were endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, and Brady: United Against Gun Violence.
  • In December 2022, Senator Warren and Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) reintroduced the Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act, comprehensive  legislation to help end gun violence in America.
  • In September 2022, Senator Warren and Representative Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) sent letters to the CEOs of MasterCard, American Express, and Visa urging them to support the creation of a new merchant category code for gun and ammunition retailers and to request information about their reported opposition to Amalgamated Bank’s application for such a code.
  • In October 2022, Senator Warren joined Senator Markey in a letter to President Biden calling for the Administration to return oversight of the export of firearms, including ghost guns, and their technical data to the Department of State. 
  • In April 2020, Senator Warren joined Senators Markey, Blumenthal, Murphy, and 12 of their colleagues in calling for strengthening background checks amidst a massive increase in gun sales during the coronavirus emergency.