As much as anything Senator Lautenberg sees them as a deterrent: a policeman calling to ask why someone is buying thousands of rounds of ammo might become suspicious if someone gives evasive answers.
"I want them to be real nasty,” says Sen. Lautenberg, who, along with Rep. McCarthy, is known for his anti-gun efforts in Washington.
Lautenberg and McCarthy both cited a report that Mr. Holmes had called a gun range to inquiry about shooting there. They said the owner of the range thought Holmes sounded unusual and told his staff to deny him access. The legislators said this showed why face-to-face contact was important in gun sales.
Other parts of the proposed legislation include a requirement that anyone selling ammunition must be federally licensed. Ammo dealers would be required to maintain records. And anyone buying ammunition who is not a licensed dealer would present a photo ID at the time of purchase—something the legislators say would effectively ban online or mail order purchases of ordinance by civilians.
After the attack, a Pew Research poll found 46 percent of Americans thought it was more important to protect American’s rights to own guns while 47 percent felt it was more important to control who owns them. Republicans favored the right of gun ownership by 70 percent while 67 percent of Democrats favored ownership control.