Background Checks for Ammunition Purchase and Online
Another potentially devastating piece of legislation, HB 2519, if passed, would ban all online sales of ammunition AND require that anyone purchasing ammunition undergo a background check.
The law, if passed, would state:
Under federal law as it exists on the effective date of this section, a dealer may not use the national instant criminal background check system to initiate a check for a transfer of ammunition. If federal law is amended to authorize use of the national instant criminal background check system for ammunition transfers, it is the intent of the legislature that a dealer conduct a background check before delivering any ammunition to a purchaser or transferee.
Beginning on the date that is thirty days after the attorney general certifies that federal law has been amended to authorize use of the national instant criminal background check system for ammunition transfers, a dealer must then initiate a check of that system before completing any ammunition transfer.
The attorney general shall notify dealers at the time he or she certifies that federal law has been amended to authorize the use 8 of the national instant criminal background check system for ammunition transfers.
Background checks are not required for ammunition sales occurring at a duly licensed, lawfully operated shooting range or target facility, provided the ammunition is at all times kept within the facility's premises.
This bill has the potential to impact the lawful and responsible gun owner in Washington state in many ways. First, this would require gun owners to purchase via retail, thus subjecting them to markups that can be avoided if one chooses to shop online. Secondly, both Seattle and Tacoma have already passed an ammunition tax. The current Governor has not shied away from any new tax which has ever been proposed. A statewide ammunition tax would likely follow, subjecting gun owners to unnecessary expenses via government extortion. (Mandate to purchase only at retailers who have been subjected to ammunition tax).
Once background checks are implemented for ammunition, other restrictions such as quantity or frequency of purchase may soon follow. Delays in background checks caused by voluminous requests could delay even simple purchases.