"Gun control fanatics, frustrated in their attempts to impose severely restrictive regulations on the gun rights of law-abiding American citizens, apparently think that if they push severe restrictions on ammunition acquisition and possession, they'll come closer to their objective of restricting if not eliminating the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms," says John M. Snyder, named Washington's senior gun rights activist.
With a liberal Democrat now sitting in the Oval Office and both houses of the US Congress boasting Democrat majorities, lawmakers in Washington, DC and around the country are displaying renewed interest in gun control legislation, according to sources within both law enforcement and gun owner rights communities.
"Ever since the so-called 'Beltway Sniper' case in 2001, there's been talk about not just gun registration, but ammo registration. This will make it mandatory for manufacturers of firearms ammunition to number every cartridge they make and to keep records of those cartridges," said Lt. Steven Rodgers, a cop in New Jersey.
"Can't control guns? Well, they'll control the ammunition," he added during an interview with NewsWithViews.com.
While a federal law is being considered by proponents of such laws, gun owners in individual states are witnessing what's referred to as Ammunition Accountability Acts being pushed through they're state legislatures by impatient lawmakers.
Ammunition Accountability, a liberal gun control organization, has developed sample legislation to achieve its purposes and reports that versions of it have been introduced in the legislatures of Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, according to John Snyder.
While state legislatures differ in the wording of their proposed laws, basically they all require that any and all ammunition be encoded by the manufacturer and they will maintain a mandatory data base of all ammunition sales.
"We of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms oppose this backdoor approach to gun control," stated Snyder, an official with that gun rights group.
The sample legislation would stipulate that, “each year in the United States, more than 30 percent of all homicides that involve a gun go unsolved; handgun ammunition accounts for 80 percent of all ammunition sold in the United States; current technology for matching a bullet used in a crime to the gun that fired it has worked moderately well for years, but presupposes that the weapon was recovered by law enforcement;” and “bullet coding is a new and effective way for law enforcement to quickly identify persons of interest in gun crime investigations.”
It would provide that, after a specific date, all handgun and “assault weapon” ammunition manufactured or sold in the state shall be coded by the manufacturer, and would include a list of all calibers covered by the coding requirement. It would mandate the disposal by a certain date of all non-coded ammunition listed, whether owned by private citizens or retail outlets.
"If this new proposed Ammo Accountability Act legislation is only another attempt to chip away at the 2nd Amendment, it is just plain wrong. Since the 2nd Amendment defines a citizens "right" to defend themselves, with a gun, it clearly does not address ammunition. What a novel way to "back door" the issue" said Josephine County, Oregon's Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.
"It is clearly no secret, many in our government would like to see America disarmed. Our government has authored books mapping out a strategy on how to do just that. Simply look back in history to see what happened after people lost their arms and ability to defend themselves," he told NewsWithViews.com.
"Our government leaders slash funding in support of law enforcement throughout America, leaving our citizens more vulnerable - but on the other hand feel compelled to send hundreds of millions of dollars, each year, to enhance police in foreign Countries. Weaker law enforcement coupled with escalating crime is a receipt for disaster," said the career lawman.
Ammunition coding technology works by laser etching the back of each bullet with an alpha-numeric serial number. Then when a customer purchases a box of, for example, 9mm cartridges, the box of ammunition and the bullets’ coding numbers would be connected to the purchaser in a statewide or national database.
The code on the bullet can be read with a simple magnifying glass and then be run through a statewide or national database to determine who purchased the ammunition and where.
The rationale being used by proponents of such laws is that cartridges can be used to trace a gun owner who committed a crime such as murder or assault with a deadly weapon, according to the National Association for Gun Rights' Executive Director Dudley Brown.
But opponents of ammo registration laws counter that this will only increase the incidents of criminals collecting spent cartridges and depriving police of other evidence such as fingerprints on a cartridge left at the crime scene.
"NAGR's strategy is simple: make the enemies of our firearms freedoms pay for every inch. While many so-called "gun rights groups" work to curry favor with politicians and the media, NAGR is working aggressively to hold politicians accountable and to put a stop to gun control," said Brown.
At the federal level, H.R. 408 introduced by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) a new law would require firearms manufacturers to provide ballistics information on all new firearms to BATF, which would retain the information in a National Firearms Ballistics Database. Critics claim part of this bill will be used to mandate encoding ammunition, which is part and parcel of "ballistics" information.
"[Lawmakers] should ignore the media hype on the firearms issue and pay attention to what the public – their constituents – are saying on the matter,” gun rights expert John M. Snyder stated.
“According to an August poll conducted by Zogby International for Associated Television News, the American public rejects the notion that new gun control laws are needed by a two-to-one margin,” Snyder continued.
“Maybe the House of Representatives should have taken a reading of public opinion on this issue before rushing headlong without a roll call vote to pass a bill before the recess,” said Snyder, who is a firearms advisor for the National Association of Chiefs of Police.