12 INVESTIGATES: Online ammunition regulations

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The 24-year-old accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens of other inside the Colorado movie theater was able to build his arsenal legally — and quickly — over the internet.

Police said with just a few keystrokes and $3,000, theater shooting suspect James Holmes was able to stock up on more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition for his hand guns, assault rifle and 12-gauge shotgun.

He also bought a bullet proof vest and a drum magazine — capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds per minute.

Ammunition sales are perfectly legal in all but a handful of states and cities. In Virginia, there's no regulation.

It didn't take NBC12 long to find guns, ammunition, even police-grade tear gas canisters on sale online.

There are no background checks or government oversight.

The prices are affordable — and as long as you can prove you're 21 years old when the package arrives at the door, it's easy to buy.

"On the internet, you can't see who's buying something. It could be a kid buying it, who knows," said David Hancock, who works at Bob Moates Sports Shop.

Hancock said there are a lot of things sold on the internet that he doesn't think should be.

"Because, when we come in here, we can see you. We have a pretty fair judgement of whether you are a legitimate individual looking for defense to protect yourself or whether you may be somebody up to no good."

He said the secrecy of the internet takes away that personal interaction that could alert a gun and ammunition seller to danger.

Only a handful of states have passed any laws requiring that gun dealers keep track of who is buying ammunition.

Gun rights groups said that stricter controls would not make the nation safer, but would only restrict constitutional rights.

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