Connecticut Senator: Ammunition is 'black hole' of gun control

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks to mourners gathered inside the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church at a vigil service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012.

Vice President Joe Biden will meet with members of the video game industry today as he continues to look for ways to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. The Vice President will deliver his recommendations to President Obama next Tuesday.

One idea emerged this week from Senator Richard Blumenthal. The Democrat from Connecticut wants background checks for the sale of bullets.

"Ammunition is the black hole of gun violence prevention," says Blumenthal. "There are prohibitions against certain categories of people buying ammunition as well as firearms, but the only checks done are for firearms." According to Blumenthal, his proposal would cost tax payers an estimated $5 million a year.

While critics worry that new enforcement may unduly restrict gun owners and sellers, Blumenthal says ammunition background checks would be easy for retailers to implement.

"Someone who owns a pistol permit or a hunting license already has gone through a background check, so no additional check is required," says Blumenthal, who likens ammunition purchase enforcement to checking for ID during alcohol sales.

To hear Blumenthal discuss the political challenges related to gun control, click on the audio player above.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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