Gun store turns over records to New York state police

The Albion Gun Shop (Photo: The Niagara Falls Reporter)

The Albion Gun Shop (Photo: The Niagara Falls Reporter)

Under the threat of a possible SWAT team raid, a gun shop owner in Albion, New York, turned over sales records to the state police last Friday.

Joseph Palumbo, co-owner of the Albion Gun Shop, received a request Thursday from the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, the division of the New York State Police responsible for enforcing the SAFE Act, demanding that he turn over the names of every individual who purchased from his store an AR-15 with a ‘bullet button,’ a modifying device that affixes a magazine to a rifle so that it cannot be detached without the use of a tool.

Palumbo thought this was an odd request given that he had previously sought clarification from both local and state law enforcement on whether the modified firearms were legal under the SAFE Act, the sweeping gun-control law enacted in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, which expanded the ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ to include all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and one or more cosmetic traits, e.g. pistol grip, folding stock, threaded barrel or bayonet mount, among others.

“The New York State Police told me that my guns were NY S.A.F.E. compliant,” Palumbo told Ammoland. “The chief of the Medina police told me my rifles were NY S.A.F.E. compliant and in fact purchased one of the guns from my shop.”

In the request issued on Thursday, the Narcotics Enforcement Unit gave Palumbo 24 hours to turn over the records. Left with little or no choice, Palumbo complied, giving state police the names and addresses of at least 170 customers.

Palumbo told the Niagara Falls Reporter that “there had been a plan to raid the gun shop with the SWAT Team, but the lead investigator felt it would be best to go in peacefully.”

Meanwhile, an attorney representing the gun shop owner believes that his client may have been set up.

“My client disclosed to me that he would not have sold these rifles to the general public had they not been approved by the New York Division of State Police,” said James D. Tresmond.

To that end, Ammoland reported that an informant within the state police released an email from New York State Police Division Counsel Kevin Bruen replying to a trooper’s inquiry about whether the rifles were legal to possess, to which Division Counsel said, “a court would have to rule on the legality of these rifles.”

In other words, Division Councel had no idea whether the AR-15s with the bullet buttons were lawful under the SAFE Act. To answer that question the state would either need to wait for a lawsuit to present itself or bring charges against an individual selling and/or possessing those rifles so that a court could render a decision.

It goes without saying but if a law is that ambiguous it needs to be scrapped, as Palumbo’s attorney pointed out.

“The New York S.A.F.E. Act is being enforced arbitrarily on a case by case basis,” Tresmond said. “That amounts to unconstitutional vagueness under the Supreme Court’s Morales standard, and the law should be enjoined for that reason alone.”

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Robert Rivers February 2, 2018, 6:53 pm

    NY Safe Act turning law abiding citizens into felons since the moment it was signed into law in the middle of the night. One of the primary reasons I’m a former New Yorker..

  • Ryan December 23, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Traitor. Should have burned all records.

  • Acecool November 25, 2016, 12:19 pm

    It is a federal crime to burgle a federal firearms licensee and the supreme court has ruled it legal to use any means necessary to defend yourself against kidnappers, even if they wear a uniform, and police always enter a situation to control it and deprive you of your freedom to move about by handcuffing you – ie kidnapping not to mention theft of data and who knows what these corrupt thugs would do with access to weapons and ammunition while they’re robbing the place of its data ( and real money is in data nowadays – so that would be another felony charge )…

    Shall not be infringed is very clear; the New York State Browncoats should be put in prison for violating our human rights.

    • Acecool November 25, 2016, 12:20 pm

      I also forgot: Intimidation is a crime too…

  • Laurin November 16, 2015, 11:27 am

    For a state with an already tarnished policy towards law abiding citizens adding these gray area, arbitrary enforcement types of laws will only blemish the records of otherwise decent officers in the public’s eyes. There is no doubt it is a badly written law, a fool can see that. It is really a problem when the fool is in charge of enforcing it. For a man losing his gun or worse- setting in jail because of this law, the only criminal act here is the officer in charge of ordering the arrest. Just once I would love to see that officer with very little common sense, spend time in jail for his disregard of a citizens constitutional rights. In my eyes he is absolutely guilty of depraved indifference by forcing others in enforcement to commit a crime with no regard to constitutional law. I am convinced a high school government class could do a better job than this.

  • Grifhunter September 8, 2014, 11:12 pm

    All you non New Yorkers, don’t be so cocky. Your day is coming, because Warner or Clinton will be president, the Supreme Court that decided Heller will be no more and you WILL see registration, bans on black guns and magazines, and arrests in your hometown.
    Help us fight these bastards now and here! Plead for the NRA and 2nd Amendment Foundation to step up their game in NY. Donate time and money. Remember, its better to fight them in NY now than in YOUR state later.

  • Ed September 8, 2014, 10:41 pm

    Just more of our piece of shit government abusing their power…again.

  • davidkachel September 8, 2014, 7:12 pm

    LEAVE NEW YORK!!! That is the very best revenge. If enough people leave, it will be noticed.
    Gun stores…. LEAVE, YOU MORONS!!! Almost ANY state is better. You would be welcomed with open arms in almost any souther or wester state (except Kommiefornia, of course).
    Why continue to do business where they are out to ruin you? That is just plain STUPID!!!
    Gun owners. MOVE!!! Sooner or later they will come to take them and just might shoot you for fun, in the bargain.
    GET OUT!!!

  • Joe McHugh September 8, 2014, 3:13 pm

    I live in the people’s Republic of New York State. Our Dear Leader Governor Andrew Cuomo dreamed up the New York Sate S.A.F.E. Act, a gun law that is so restrictive that it almost qualifies as a gun confiscation law. Our Dear Leader publicly stated that if this new law didn’t drastically reduce crime in New York, he would initiate a gun confiscation law. Of course, he would allow single shot .22 caliber rimfire rifles and single barrel break open shotguns to comply with the Second Amendment.

    Anyone who already owns an “assault weapon”, (AR15 type rifle), must register it with the State Police Department. That owner may not sell or give it away, even to a relative. If he or she dies, the estate must surrender that AR15 type rifle to the state Police for destruction. One can purchase kits to modify the egregious looking features into something that looks less “ferocious”. Of course the rifle remains just as deadly but it “looks” more friendly after modification.

    Another feature of the New York State S.A.F.E. Act is that anyone who wishes to purchase ammunition, even a box of fifty rounds of .22 caliber rimfire ammunition must undergo a N.I.C.S. clearance at the gun dealer store. If the same person wants to buy a second box later in the day from the same clerk in the same gun store, he has to undergo a second N.I.C.S. clearance to do so. Some of the gun dealers are charging extra to cover the costs involved in calling the friendly people at the at Clarksburg, West Virginia. There are many more wonderful features of our S.A.F.E. Act gun law, but you get the point.

    Now here’s what you need to know about Governor Cuomo’s motivation for initiating this gun law. Cuomo, has aspirations to run in the Democrat primary against Hillary in 2016. He needed to create the S.A.F.E. gun law to establish his credentials with the liberal voters across the United States and deduced that this anti gun law would do just that.

    So if Hillary stumbles before the Democrat primary election, you might wake up some day and Our Dear Leader will be your Dear Leader too.

    • RSCamaro September 8, 2014, 8:27 pm

      Your comment about the NICS check on purchases of ammunition is slightly premature, not that they aren’t working on a new government entity. The State Police / government was not and/or is not prepared to do background checks for ammunition purposes. BATFE / NICS is not going to do background checks for N.Y.S. All of the smaller firearms stores I deal with do not ask for ID for the purposes of buying ammunition, Big box stores like WalMart ask to see your pistol permit but don’t take the information down, Dick’s Sporting Goods does take your information and puts it in their computer, Gander mountain only asks to see your ID for pistol ammunition but you do have to fill out a form if you are buying pistol and/or rifle powder. These are things as it stands today, tomorrow may be totally different. N.Y.C. is totally different than the rest of the state, BB guns as well as everything else is practically forbidden down there, a triple somersault with a twist might get you something to protect yourself with.

    • Russ September 10, 2014, 12:00 am

      I feel for you Joe, I’m in California.
      I guess you should get out of that overcrowded overtaxed state so you can live like a true American. It’s too dangerous anyway. Your a big target for all bad things to come.
      But hey, if you stay you could wear a bandoleer of fifty single shot .22 pistols on your neck and fill squirt guns with acid. Maybe some high powered potato and a Samurai sword.
      If CA gets as bad as NY, and it’s close, I’m out of here.
      If Clinton or any Democrat is elected President, without any dought I’ll sell it all and get the hell out of CA and head for the wilderness.

      I’m sorry to say Joe, your times up in New York already.

  • aric forse September 8, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Background checks are de facto registration! Wake up!

    • DaveGinOly September 8, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Background checks don’t necessarily indicate that a weapon is being purchased, nor do they indicate the type of weapon, or if multiple weapons are being purchased at the same time. On the other hand, the transfer ledger that all FFLs are required to keep does create a record of purchases, and is de facto registration. But they’re not supposed to by used as such (or at least are not supposed to use the data to create a centralized registry). So much for putting our trust in government. If we had known it would come to this, we would have opposed the creation of the federally-licensed firearms dealer system. We now see that any such system of government oversight will eventually be used to infringe upon the rights of the law-abiding, under the guise of regulating firearms retailers. Time to abolish the entire system and go back to the old way – anyone can buy and sell firearms. (Laws that bar certain people from possession of firearms could remain n effect. The current system is ineffective in the enforcement of those laws, so there’s no reason to support the system for the sake of their enforcement.)

      • Russ September 9, 2014, 11:45 pm

        I could live like that.
        We just need all the good people to be educated trained and carrying firearms.
        we will run out of bad guys real quick.

  • oldfuzz695 September 8, 2014, 10:45 am

    And those NY Dildos make fun of New Jersey!

  • Paul F. September 8, 2014, 10:44 am

    Just want to point out that as a condition of the dealers license in N.Y., the dealer HAS to surrender purchase records to law enforcement if requested. So that’s a non-issue gun rights wise.
    I’d rather see the outrage about serving a records request with a SWAT team, and about them apparently changing their minds on a previously “OK’ed” bullet button. You can bet California is watching how this goes – the CA DOJ would LOVE to change their minds and come round up all the AR’s sold with Bullet Buttons!

    • Russ September 9, 2014, 11:38 pm

      We want these vote cheating socialist Democrats of our state and we are now having record numbers of people applying for CCW licenses and getting them. Where trying hard to turn the tables here in CA. We need all the help[ we can get. We are being invaded and your states are next.

  • PudbertSavannahGA September 8, 2014, 8:29 am

    New D0RK,, what a bunch ofNA Z1’s

  • shakercell September 8, 2014, 8:19 am

    I like what new york is doing. the second ammendment, doesnt give you the right to own anything you want. call 911 , that’s all the rights you need.

    • Jack S September 8, 2014, 9:18 am

      Thank god there are plenty of bridges in NY state. Troll like you would have no place to live without them.
      I just went back and reread the 2nd amendment, I didn’t see a single reference to what is restricted. Please enlighten us to what SPECIFIC restrictions you have read in the Bill of rights.

      one other question you can answer. who the fuck left you in charge of what rights I am allowed. im pretty sure your opinion means jack shit to law abiding citizens that can read the constitution and Bill of rights.

      • Tom K September 8, 2014, 10:48 am

        Every time a business owner, or an individual Complies with Illegal Laws, searches, or seizers, they are essentially giving Up their Constitutional, and God given natural rights. He should have had 20 armed gun owners outside the shop, waiting for the swat team, protecting their rights of confidentiality, sort of like the Bundy standoff. There is Nothing in the 2nd amendment about magazines, or AR’s, or Any restrictions in the Constitution version I have… He not only gave up his Own rights, but the Rights of those 170 citizens.. That’s the part that Irritates me most.. They trusted him with their Constitutional Rights to privacy, the 2nd Amendment, the 4th Amendment, and such.. I guess under the threat of violence, or losing his shop, his income, his livelihood, he cowered to the pressure. I mean, couldn’t he have lost those records in the same crash as the IRS had? You have to stand up to Bullies..

        • joey blowey September 8, 2014, 10:04 pm

          I would have shipped all GUNS off shore in containers and burn the place down told FU##ING COPS to go suck one and the NY GESTAPO SYSTEM come and get me and then take it on and Island tons of them off South America ..guess they were scared little men anyway and did not need guns?

      • brett September 8, 2014, 7:17 pm

        AMEN brother!!!

    • Nate Stewart September 8, 2014, 10:08 am

      You can choose to not believe in God. You can choose to hate guns. However, if someone tries to harm you or your family, I’ll bet you’ll pray to God that someone with a gun gets to you in time to save you.

      stop being dumb, and go plunge your head into ice water for a while…

    • a b turner September 8, 2014, 12:40 pm

      Yes call 911 help will be there in a little while. Meanwhile the criminal has finished and gone and maybe you are alive to tell!!!

    • a b turner September 8, 2014, 12:44 pm

      You call 911. Maybe the police will be there in a little while. Meantime the criminal will be gone and if you are lucky you will live to tell about it. Get serious: the old saying of when seconds count the police will be there in minutes. The average response time to a 911 call is around 20 minutes. Good Luck!

    • aric forse September 8, 2014, 2:16 pm

      You can keep your right to die while you wait, I will not

    • DaveGinOly September 8, 2014, 3:49 pm

      “(T)he (S)econd (A)mmendment (sic), doesnt (sic) give you the right to own anything you want.”
      Your statement concerning “anything you want” is fatally flawed by your misunderstanding of the Second Amendment – it doesn’t “give” anybody anything. It’s merely a bar to government infringement upon the right, which is a natural, or God-given, right (take your pick). Insofar that it acts as a bar to government action, it is a guarantee, not a grant. But I wouldn’t expect someone who appears to be barely literate to actually understand the difference (your post has at least eight errors of grammar and spelling).

      • luke warm September 8, 2014, 9:39 pm

        You are an ignorant liberal assh@77 who’s beliefs only reflect the minority of the whole of America. History will expose you to -” if they exist” –free people.

    • davidkachel September 8, 2014, 7:13 pm

      OK, moron. I’ll come to your house, ring the bell, then shoot you in the face when you answer the door.
      You be sure to call 911, you IDIOT!!!

    • Russ September 9, 2014, 11:32 pm

      Your being funny and sarcastic right.
      You must be. Nobody would actually mean what you said.
      Real funny dry humor. It snapped a few of us.

  • Augest West September 8, 2014, 7:41 am

    WAIT A MINUET? If the magazine is fixed to the lower and cannot be removed without using a tool wouldn’t that make it a safer rifle? Also this is such a “Lets throw out the bill of rights” It’s unreal. So now any gun store has to hand over receipts to whom ever they sold a firearm too? I’m What am I missing here? The SAFE act?
    OK, as I was unaware of these magazines and how they work I just watched a video from a guy in CAL. The magazines he showed had a tool on each one to depress the mag release. I do not understand, 1 why anyone would think that a fixed mag like this would make any difference in reloading. 2 the issue of being compliant by NY state law the to be hassled because he is compliant just doesn’t make any sense. WTF is going on? AMERICANS NEED TO STAND UP AND STOP THIS GARBAGE, STOP THE POLITICIANS, STOP THE ANTI GUN FANATICS AND THE ONE IN WASHINGTON WHO HITS A LITTLE WHITE BALL AROUND A HUGE FIELD, STOP THE POLICE STATE THAT WE ARE HEADING FOR. A LOT OF COPS, SHERRIES ARE AGAINST THIS. AND I WOULD SAY EVERY MAN/WOMEN WHO SERVED IN COMBAT.

    • SmokeHillFarm September 14, 2014, 2:35 am

      Unfortunately, the average American today won’t stand up for much of anything anymore, so don’t hold your breath.

      Our public schools have gotten so dictatorial that they ban T-shirts & jewelry they find offensive (in other words, patriotic or politically conservative), call the cops when a 6-yr-old kisses another 6-yr-old …. or bites a Pop-tart to resemble a pistol …. and considers Chap-Stick to be a “medication” that students cannot carry, but must be “administered” by a school nurse.

      Any decent society would have gone berserk and STOPPED this. But parents haven”t the guts to take on even this stupid stuff.

      And yet we still pretend that our teachers are admirable, hard-working and underpaid public servants — instead of unionized socialists who are jamming their pro-communist, pro-homosexual agenda on our children.

      A nation that will put up with this tyranny is, unfortunately, beyond hope.

  • Tim Delamarter September 6, 2014, 9:47 am

    I wonder if they chose to target this store because it is a small store, in a small community. Maybe they feel the store won’t be able to come up with the needed resources to fight this? To fight for our 2nd Amendment rights? We can help them, by finding the store at go fund me.

  • What I know September 4, 2014, 11:16 pm

    A very sad state of affairs!

    In that state!

    • GuidoFL September 8, 2014, 9:05 am

      Sad state of the police state. This is how it really starts folks twisting ambiguous laws them threats of a SWAT raid. Hitler and his henchmen are smiling ! We were warned that this was coming, now watch as the police move on the buyers and raid their homes, only in a police state !

      • mtman2 September 8, 2014, 3:18 pm

        Like Lois Lerner said “I don’t know what happened”
        the flash fire just charred those books Ossifer, including 1/2 burned cash and other stuff ~?!!

    • Russ September 8, 2014, 9:50 pm

      Joseph Palumbo, LEAVE NEW YORK!
      They don’t want you there and you don’t want to do business there.
      Please open shop where we can appreciate your service.
      New York is where all the bad guys will be headed to enjoy their violent crimes
      By the Jet load.

      • Sal September 9, 2014, 8:32 am

        Yes, in a few years gun manufacturers will abandon NY and New England and set up in the south and west. They already are doing this. I imagine Kimber is probably looking for someplace to move. They probably can market their products cheaper after getting out from under all those NY taxes.

    • JOHN DOE September 8, 2014, 10:02 pm

      should have move all guns and wired that place with enough SEMTEX to blow the wold to hell and back FU## the SCUM POLICE AND GESTAPO –should have taken all guns to another country on ship and told them to go FU## themselves!

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