Spend just a few minutes browsing the internet and it becomes clear how James Holmes was able to stockpile 6,000 rounds of ammunition without any alarms sounding. Huge amounts of ammunition can be purchased online in a matter of minutes and can be shipped straight to customers’ doors, no questions asked.
Yet those familiar with gun ownership in the US are unlikely to have been surprised.
BulkAmmo.com is one of many websites which allow for the purchase of lots of rounds at knockdown prices. On the website one can buy 1,000 .223, 62grain TulAmmo rounds, which can be fired by an AR15 assault rifle, for just $250, or 25 cents a round.
The website, like others the Guardian explored on Monday, offers incentives in the form of discounts the more ammunition you buy – four cases of 1,000 rounds comes to $980, or 24.5 cents a round.
Customers can essentially buy as much ammunition as they like. BulkAmmo.com had 18 cases of 1,000 .223 TulAmmo rounds “ready to ship”. The Guardian selected all 18 – 18,000 rounds – and was just a healthy credit card away from completing the transaction. It is illegal to ship ammunition to New York City, where our office is based, so we entered the address of a hotel in Aurora and were promptly told that in return for $4,737.30 (including a $327.30 shipping and handling fee) the 18,000 rounds could be delivered within days.
Ammunition websites will ship rounds almost anywhere in the United States (noted exceptions are the state of Massachusetts and the cities of Chicago and New York), without documentation.
Luckgunner.com stocks Fiocchi .223 remington rounds in boxes of 1,000, described as “perfect for your AR-15!”. When the Guardian perused the website on Monday there were 41 boxes in stock. Again, we were able to follow the purchasing procedure through – potentially getting 41,000 rounds delivered within three days, for $17,428.39.
Buying the guns themselves is a little more tricky. Customers can select, and pay for, a gun on any number of websites, but unlike ammunition cannot have the weapon mailed direct to a home address.
When buying online the customer has to elect a local Federal Firearms Licensee (usually just a gunshop) to have the weapon sent to. The person selling the gun then transfers the weapon’s license to that shop. The customer has to then go and fill in forms at the shop before taking the gun home.
The exact procedures differ from state to state, but the federal government always requires purchasers to go through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which checks whether individuals have criminal records or are otherwise not allowed to purchase weapons.
In Colorado, similar background checks are made at state level before the purchaser can take the gun home. The Guardian spoke to one Federal Firearms licensee on Monday who said she did not act as a licensee transfer any more, but had done many transactions in previous years. Asked how long it usually took for an individual to clear the background checks and take the gun, she said it would often be the same day.
[Ammunition via Shutterstock]
COVID-19 obituary blames Republicans for Texas man’s untimely end: ‘They blame his death on Trump’
One family in Texas recently used their loved one’s obituary to criticize President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for allowing “needless” COVID-19 deaths.
David W. Nagy died alone in a hospital bed, leaving behind his "inconsolable wife."
"He suffered greatly from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and the separation from his much loved family who were not allowed at his bedside," the obituary says.
"Family members believe David's death was needless," the obituary continues. "They blame his death and the deaths of all of the other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives."
Pennsylvania teen issues violent threat to defend friend from racism accusation: ‘I can show you what a real hate crime is’
A Pennsylvania man was charged with making terroristic threats after a Black teenager accused his friend of being racist.
A friend of Andrew Smith, of Chalfont, attacked a Central Bucks West High School student by name and used racial slurs, reported the Bucks County Courier Times.
Smith's friend, who has not been charged, lashed out at the teen for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and said her views “make me wanna commit a black hate crime,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Trump’s strategy isn’t working in Pennsylvania — a state the president can’t afford to lose: report
Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio are the four states that GOP strategists have been describing as President Donald Trump’s “Rust Belt firewall” — states that went to President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but favored Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. But that “firewall” has not been holding up for the president. Trump’s reelection campaign has "temporarily" suspended its advertising in Michigan, although it continues to advertise in the other three — all of which are clearly in play for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. And Philadelphia-based reporter Holly Otterbein, in an article published in Politico on August 2, stresses that so far, Trump’s attacks on Biden have not been resonating in Pennsylvania.