What Does Anonymous Actually Mean?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – Inigo Montoya

Emphasis added:

Two Democratic lawmakers on Monday will announce new legislation to regulate the online and mail-order sale of ammunition. …

“The shooter who killed 12 and injured 58 in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater this month had purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition anonymously on the Internet shortly before going on his killing spree, according to law enforcement officials,” the statement [from Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. McCarthy] reads. …

Lautenberg and McCarthy, who will unveil their new proposal at New York’s City Hall say they intend to “make it harder for criminals to anonymously stockpile ammunition through the Internet.”

I have a big problem with this proposal before I’ve even read the exact language simply because of the statement. Think about how you purchase anything online. You have to enter a name and address to have it shipped somewhere. You have to enter a name that matches an address and credit card number in order to pay for it. In other words, there’s very little that’s truly anonymous online when it comes to ordering products from actual businesses.

However, there’s nothing unlawful about walking into a gun shop with cash and buying ammunition. That is truly anonymous. There’s no name, no address, and nothing that needs to process through a bank that is connected to the buyer. It’s straight up cash and carry from a traditional and highly regulated brick-and-motar gun shop.

So, if Lautenberg & McCarthy are truly disturbed by anonymous ammunition sales, why are they complaining about online transactions? It’s just one more piece of evidence that there’s nothing serious about their so-called effort to reduce gun violence. It’s simply about control – gun control.

14 thoughts on “What Does Anonymous Actually Mean?”

  1. We should be so lucky that these two are the ones attempting this move. Someone with some brains could actually cause real trouble.

  2. After banning online sale of ammunition, you know the next step is mandatory registration of ammunition sales at storefronts, which has the anti-gun bonus of driving large retailers like Walmart out of the ammo business because of the paperwork hassle.

    1. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required dealers to maintain sales logs of all handgun ammunition sales. After decades, the requirement was repealed in 1986 due to the fact it created so much paperwork and useless data that it served no purpose. So mandatory ammunition registration was tried and failed. And that was in a time when gun and ammo sales are nowhere near where they are today.

      For more recent history, the Maryland State Police pressured retailers to create and maintain ammunition sales logs that required ID to be presented by the buyer and recorded. This was completely illegal as they had no authority to do this under the law. But because the MSP is also the regulated (handgun and certain “assault style” rifles) licensing agency for these sales, the retailers felt they had no choice. So these lists were compiled.

      Later, a man had a midnight visit from some MSP detectives asking why he had purchased ammunition for a handgun that their registration list said he didn’t own. Turns out the fellow had bought a new handgun earlier in the day and was in the mandatory 8 day waiting period in Maryland before he could take possession. He had gone shopping for ammo in anticipation of his new purchase. MSP had matched up the ammunition log sales to their registration records and was on a fishing expedition. All completely illegal.

      The outcry from this incident has led to the curtailing, but not total elimination, of the ammunition logging in Maryland. Some places still do it and private individuals do have the right to tell the retailer the log is illegal, hold their ID and tell them to pound sand. I, like many, simply refuse to do business with such retailers. I buy my ammo in Virginia just to make sure.

      I don’t need to envision all kinds of unintended consequences of ammunition registries. Reality has already provided them. Like with gun registration, ammo registration/tracking must be resisted for the same reasons. They aren’t doing it for safety. It is for harassment, control, intimidation and, if they decided to make an example of you, imprisonment.

  3. Why do they care? How many shots did he actually fire? 150?

    Could he actually carry 6000 rounds if they were in magazines? Doesn’t the law of gravity already apply?

  4. NJ has ammo registration, no one can say exactly what good it does, and a few vendors have even told me nobody has ever asked to see said ammo log books……

    1. What about when NJ residents buy ammo at a range in PA and have some leftover? Is it illegal for them to take the leftover ammo home?

  5. You can’t buy ammunition this way, but you know what you can do anonymously online with a prepaid debit card or a credit card using fraudulent identifying information? Donate to the reelection campaign of the presidential candidate from McCarthy and Lautenberg’s party. It might be a little easier to take them seriously about things like this if they were even a little outspoken about crimes that they know are being committed via the anonymity of the internet.

  6. ***It’s simply about control – gun control.***

    No it’s not.

    It’s about PEOPLE control, but you can’t control people if they have the ability to tell you ‘NO!” and the guns to back it up.

  7. Would this law be different if the Colorado shooter bought his ammo in 200 round lots from 30 different stores?
    And way off topic, how many rounds of ammo was the aurora shooter carrying in the theater? Certainly not 6000.

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