It's a question on many peoples' minds in light of the Colorado movie theater massacre; how can someone purchase thousands of rounds of ammunition without ever having to look anyone in the eye?
Nashville's News 2 attempted to purchase ammunition online and found it more difficult than you might expect in Tennessee.
It took three tries before we were able to find a Web site that shipped to the Volunteer State.
According to the Tennessee Firearms Association, there are no state laws restricting online ammunition purchases.
John Harris, a spokesperson for the TFA, told Nashville's News 2, some online retailers self-restrict where they send items.
On Web sites that did ship to Tennessee, the only thing standing in between the purchase was a box to check ensuring that the purchaser was at least 18 years old or 21 years old.
Federal law requires anyone purchasing ammunition for a long gun, like a rifle, to be at least 18 years old; you must be 21 years or older to purchase ammunition for a handgun.
"Obviously we're in the business to sell product, so we want them to qualify and we want them to be good citizens, but that's as far as we can go with it," said David "Dirt" King.
King owns Mid South Shooters Supply Company, based in Clarksville.
King's company mainly sells ammunition online.
It's one of the largest online ammunition retailers in the country, also shipping to 38 countries.
"We try desperately to make sure that everything about the entire process is authentic, the order, the consumer, the whole nine yards," but King added, "You can't penalize everybody because you've got a bad apple. So out of the millions of consumers, we had a bad one and there will be another bad one."
According to King, large orders, like the 6,000 rounds of ammunition allegedly stockpiled by the Colorado shooting suspect, are not unusual for them.
"In the mail order business, if they're going to order ammo, they've got to order enough to make it at least semi cost effective," said King.
King said their computer system will flag orders in certain zip codes were items are illegal, like BB pellets in New York.
King also told Nashville's News 2, their staff evaluates each online order individually.
"Our operators also adjudicate each web order. So if something, if a flag comes up, they'll call the customer, email the customer, they'll look at the history of the customer, and so on and so on," King explained.
Before federal privacy laws, King said they used to ask people for a copy of their drivers license.
On their Web site, King said they also ask customers to check a special box, "We do something a little different than a lot of people. We have a check box at the bottom, which illustrates to them that you are in control of this situation and you understand the ramifications of the law in your geographic location."
Beyond all of this, King told Nashville's News 2 they have to rely on peoples' integrity.
"The number of rounds and the type of rounds, that's not the issue," said King, "It's still the person behind that trigger, that's who we've got to deal with."
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:07 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:07:37 GMT
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