Proposal would label bullets sold in Illinois with serial numbers

The gun violence in Chicago is at a level not seen in twenty years, and that's led to a proposal that bullets sold in Illinois come with serial numbers which could be traced, just like guns.

- The gun violence in Chicago is at a level not seen in twenty years, and that's led to a proposal that bullets sold in Illinois come with serial numbers which could be traced, just like guns.

It's a common scene in Chicago: police recovering shell casings at the scene of a shooting. Well, on Tuesday, a group of legislators and gun control activists proposed that every bullet sold in Illinois be coded with a serial number, so the ammunition could be traced back to the store where it was purchased.

“We just want to know how the guns and the bullets are getting into the hands of our youth and causing senseless harm and murder on our streets,” said Rep. Sonya Harper.

The CEO of AMMO Coding Systems, Matt Harrington, says his technology would allow ammo manufacturers to easily code the millions of bullets they sell every year. After recovering bullets at a shooting, police could enter those codes into a database, learn where the bullets were purchased, then visit the seller to obtain the name of the buyer.

“You're going to have to explain, Mr. Smith, why is the bullet you bought at Walmart now in this five year old's head, on the West Side of Chicago. Explain that,” Harrington said.

Tuesday’s proposal did not go over well with some gun shop owners, who say massive amounts of paperwork would be required while serious solutions to crime are being ignored.

“Don't go after these bullets and this bullet stamping thing that's ridiculous, go after the gang bangers, the people who are let out on the streets from parole,” said Fred Lutger of Freddie Bear Sports.

Lutger, owner of a gun shop in Tinley Park, also says keeping track of every ammo purchaser would be an impossible task for gun shop owners. Twenty states are considering similar legislation, but Illinois would be the first to enact it.

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