Anti-Gunners Hail Gun Control Legislation Targeting Online Ammo Sales

Anti-Gunners Hail Gun Control Legislation Targeting Online Ammo Sales (Dave Workman photo)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Federal legislation introduced in September by perennial anti-gun U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) may not have a chance in Congress right now, but it may be a warm-up effort that is already being hailed by the gun prohibition lobby as a way to place restrictions on perfectly-legal businesses, and even publications, that deal with or discuss on-line firearm and ammunition sales.

Their S. 4718 is a short bill, but it could have far-reaching consequences, depending upon how it is implemented.

Here is the full language:

“To amend title 18, United States Code, to make fraudulent dealings in firearms and ammunition unlawful, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Stopping the Fraudulent Sales of Firearms Act”.

SEC. 2. FRAUDULENT DEALINGS IN FIREARMS.

(a) In General.—Section 922(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (9), by striking the period and at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(10) for any person—

“(A) to import, manufacture, or sell a firearm or ammunition by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises; and

“(B) to transmit or cause to be transmitted, by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any communication relating to the importation, manufacture, or sale described in subparagraph (A).”.

(b) Penalty.—Section 924(a)(1)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting “(a)(10),” before “(f)”.”

According to Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, S. 4718 is bad news, something akin to the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent.”

“This is an attempt to weaponize the Soto decision,” Keane said, “to turn truthful advertising gun control groups don’t like into a crime and a basis for ATF to revoke licenses. It is designed to and would chill First Amendment protected commercial speech pertaining to the lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition products and create a basis for suing industry members gutting the PLCAA.”

Keane was referring to Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms, a Connecticut case involving the lawsuit against Bushmaster by the survivors of Sandy Hook victims. In 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that Sandy Hook families could pursue legal action against Bushmaster, which manufactured the rifle used by mass killer Adam Lanza to murder 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

The PLCAA is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, passed by Congress to prohibit junk lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers for the misuse of their products.

In a press release announcing their joint legislation, Feinstein asserted, “While some technology companies have banned selling firearms and ammunition on their websites, the problem persists. Our bill would make it illegal for gun sellers to circumvent websites’ terms of service and continue the underground proliferation of firearms. It’s part of a larger effort that needs to be taken to stop the plague of gun violence in our communities.”

Critics contend the language of this legislation will make it possible criminalize any online advertising for firearms or ammunition, a common practice in today’s business environment. Major firms or online publications such as Brownells, Bass Pro, Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Guide and even AmmoLand News could be targeted.

The gun prohibition lobby has been quick to support the measure. They were quoted news releases from both Feinstein and Menendez.

“Internet marketplaces like Facebook are the virtual dark alley where unscrupulous gun sellers go to meet dangerous individuals who are trying to get their hands on a firearm,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Stopping these illegal sales would save lives, and we applaud Senator Feinstein for introducing legislation to do exactly that.”

“Overwhelming majorities of Americans support policies that ensure that individuals who should not possess firearms are not able to purchase them, including online,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady. “Brady is grateful to Senators Feinstein and Menendez for addressing a dangerous practice of falsely advertising firearm sales online. Such sales are designed to circumvent the regulations that help keep our families and communities safe. This is a common-sense fix to a growing problem that applies the spirit of our nation's existing gun safety laws to novel, 21st century issues.”

While The Feinstein-Menendez legislation may get no traction this year, its introduction could be a test to see what chances it might have in a future Democrat-controlled Congress, with a Democrat in the White House willing to sign such a bill.

Companion legislation was introduced Oct. 5 by Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA). She, Feinstein and Menendez cranked out boilerplate comments essentially demonizing the firearms industry, and they all appeared to be remarkably similar.

“The fact is, no matter how many times big tech companies claim they’re cracking down on illegal online firearm sales, determined gun sellers and buyers find new ways to get around it,” Sen. Menendez asserted. “With this bill, we are making very clear to gun sellers who are caught illegally moving their weapons online: if you make the sale, you will pay the price.”

“We hear time and time again from big tech companies that they are cracking down on illegal, online gun sales, yet this problem persists, and has extended far beyond traditional websites and is now present on social media platforms,” Congresswoman Scanlon echoed. This bill would make it illegal for gun sellers to circumvent websites’ terms of service and continue the underground proliferation of firearms. It’s part of a larger effort that needs to be taken to stop the plague of gun violence in our communities.”

Feinstein’s remark appears cut-and-pasted out of the same playbook: “While some technology companies have banned selling firearms and ammunition on their websites, the problem persists. Our bill would make it illegal for gun sellers to circumvent websites’ terms of service and continue the underground proliferation of firearms. It’s part of a larger effort that needs to be taken to stop the plague of gun violence in our communities.”



About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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StLPro2A
StLPro2A
17 days ago

WTF??? Ammoland has become the Facebook/Twit of Conservative/gun sites??? Took 15 days to”approve”and post my comment below. Who made Ammoland/Workman the arbiter of free speech? If I wanted to be censored, I’d post on Facebook or Twitville. Anyone else being “approved” this way? WTF????

Ron from Auburn
Ron from Auburn
1 month ago

Ammunition restrictions are defacto gun control. If I recall there has been some precedent on this. Regardless, if Trump loses the left will pack the court and rule against the 2a at every opportunity. VOTE!

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago

Exactly like how permits are defacto gun registration but it doesn’t stop sheep from getting them almost as if they learned nothing at all from the Nazi’s.

Jaque
Jaque
1 month ago

Babs and her comrads are red to the bone. Long ago Americas national pastime in SE Asia was killing communists. Today communists are lawmakers and dragging America straight to hell. A Trump win is only a delaying action to an inevitable communist state. And this is why we must never surrender our arms to anyone, politicians, lawmakers and their KGB. It is why the 2nd Amendment was written- To fight tyranny.

loveaduck
loveaduck
1 month ago

What effing fools!

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago

Boots on the ground.

New World Order going down.

https://twitter.com/KevBoat44/status/1322225035902406656

Marines and 10th Mountain Division on standby.

Welcome to the greatest show on earth!

Last edited 1 month ago by Patriot Solutions
GomeznSA
GomeznSA
1 month ago

As usual the hard core anti-gun crowd uses fear and false hoods to try to further their agenda. Case in point is menendez making unsubstantiated claims of ‘underground weapons proliferation’. Unfortunately too many sheeple suck up such trash like a vacuum – and believe it without verification. He knows this and will continue to spew such non-factual garbage. Our only hope is to continue to show facts and truth – and for those who are misinformed to find out what reality is – like multitudes did when they found out that you really cannot order a gun on the internet… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago

DieFie and her idiot sidekick fail to comprehend that when I order a firearm from some source online, it CANNOT be shipped directl to ME< but ONLY to a Federal Firearms Licensee who MUST conduct the background check through NICS just as if I had bought that same gun out of HIS inventory.. because first he MUST enter it into his “Bound Book” of firearms in HIS inventiry. So in reality I am not purchasing idirectly from the seller online, but from my local FFL, because before I get MY hands on it, it becomes part of HIS inventory. Its… Read more »

StLPro2A
StLPro2A
1 month ago

In 1958. the late Col Jeff Cooper, handgun expert and founder of Gunsite Academy, stated, “Killing is a matter of will, not weapons. You cannot control the act itself by passing laws about the means employed.” A politician with a law never stops a bad guy with a gun. He only controls the good guys which is his true agenda. A legislator with a bill is far more dangerous to the populace as a whole than a citizen….good or bad….with a gun.  The bad guy with a gun poses short term danger….the worst damage he poses is loss of one or… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by StLPro2A
musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

This bitch needs to go for a ride. I can’t believe that she is still at it after all these years. We need term limits so bad. I never really wanted them because then we would always have rookies taking care of business and I want professionals but if this is how professionals turn out, maybe rookies would be best and they wouldn’t be in there long enough to become rich.

Vote Trump 2020 for a safer America.

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

MusicMan, term limits will NOT fix the problem. When DieFie gets termed out, the idiot corrupt voters in her district will simply find the rough equivalent and float THAT one out to be voted on by just enough mindless dweebs and eead people to infest Congress for the term limited number of years, and the beat goes on. Lazy ignorant uninvolved citiizens are the problem, and term limits won’t fix that. On the flip side, if we’d had term limits the good people who have been woarking hard to keep things right would have been gone long before they ever… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Tionico

Your argument is exactly the same thing kommiefornia went through back in the eighties when they voted for term limits. The problem I FEEL with not having the limits is that they have more time to be bought out like Mc Caine. Make it short and sweet and lets see how that turns out. I think more honest people will arise to the top of the cesspool. You might be right, but have we ever had it the other way to see if I am wrong? I am ready for a change because it is obvious this is not working… Read more »

MICHAEL J
MICHAEL J
1 month ago

Beware, California has already enacted ammunition background checks which literally gives the state control of most sources of ammo supply. By severely restricting all forms of purchasing including the internet, this limits all residents to what’s available at local businesses. These restrictions coupled with the already short supply put California residents at a distinct disadvantage to other “free states” to exercise any 2nd Amendment rights. Feinstein just happens to be the senile senator from California who wants to impose her will to the rest of the nation.

jmb1911
jmb1911
1 month ago

Mr.Workman, Thank you for this information and another very well written informative article. Both these Senators have been anti gun. This will hurt legitimate businesses that sell ammunition on line and will not deter or stop anyone who is prohibited by law to purchase ammunition. The anti gun groups will do anything to further erode a God Given Constitutional Right . Nothing the anti gun groups or pols do to “enhance” what they claim or call gun safety, doesn’t do anything directed at the criminal misuse of buying ammunition on line. With all the rioting, looting, and other unrest happening… Read more »

JPM
JPM
1 month ago

Anything they can do to limit access to firearms they will undertake. The main reason isn’t public safety, it’s because they fear that there will come a time when an American Patriot or Patriots will do to them what the Founding Fathers rightly did to the British oppressors using firearms.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  JPM

and they keep pushing the buttons. I have a feeling they don’t think it will really happen unless their groups, Antifags and BLDM do it because we have sat back and watched our rights be eroded on a yearly basis for so long and haven’t stepped up and really got in their face about it violently like they have. Thank God we have more new gun owners that might vote Republican this year, that could help but I hate so much hinging on if our president of choice wins. Thank God President Trump is putting constitutional judges in vacancies and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by musicman44mag
Cruiser
Cruiser
1 month ago

They are no longer after just the second amendment, they want the first amendment also.

We need to remove these dangerous people from our government,
they are the real reason violence is out of control.

SHAME ON EVERY GUN OWNER WHO VOTES DEMOCRAT!
If you want to make a difference, vote straight party Republican.
Time to “circle the wagons.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Cruiser
musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Cruiser

You’re right and the way this is written proves it.

Arizona
Arizona
1 month ago

Feinstein will soon go the way of RBG. Good riddance,

This bill is DOA as well, so long as Trump is president.