HARRISBURG — As the concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic kicked into high gear last week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives moved forward with legislation that would set a range of restrictions on firearm ammunition.

Firearm stores throughout the country have experienced a surge in gun and ammo sales.

Locally, for example, RF Firearms LLC on Elmira Street in Athens expected to move well over 12,000 rounds this week.

With a dozen sponsors, House Bill 2344 would require an ammunition purchase authorization permit from the state police at a cost of $50. It would cover a four-year period where the individual would have the right to purchase ammunition.

Those permits would have a 30-day processing timeframe, track ammunition purchases and the state would reserve the right to revoke an individual’s ammo permit.

State police would “create and maintain an internal centralized list of all persons who hold an ammunition authorization permit.”

The legislation would add ammo under the instant background check protocol, barring those with a criminal history, juvenile delinquency or mental health issues from purchase.

Additionally, it would restrict at-home ammo delivery for online purchases; instead, requiring those be delivered to a licensed dealer to be formally transferred.

The bill would also prohibit Pennsylvania residents from purchasing ammo out-of-state and transporting it into the commonwealth without it first being transferred to a licensed dealer.

Annually, state police would issue a report to the state’s general assembly which includes firearm and ammo sales and application denials.

If passed, each transaction for ammunition would be accompanied by a $3 tax to be deposited in the state’s Firearm Instant Records Check Fund.

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