New York Law Mandating Background Checks for Ammo Brutalizing Gun Shops, Gun Owners

in 2nd Amendment – R2KBA, Current Events, This Week

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

New Changes Take Effect

This month, New York is experiencing pivotal changes to its gun laws. The state is moving away from the FBI handling firearm-related NICS background checks.

Now, the New York State Police (NYSP) will manage all these checks. What could go wrong?

Centralized System Incoming

NY Exec. Law § 228, enacted last year, drives this transition. It requires the State Police Superintendent to establish a “centralized” bureau for checks.

Dealers were required to submit background check requests to this bureau starting last Wednesday, Sept. 13th.

Cost Implications for Background Checks on Ammo Purchases

To manage the costs associated with this centralized approach, § 228(5) permits the state to levy fees on these background checks.

Reports by local media indicate the fees will be an additional $9 for firearms and $2.50 for ammunition — on all purchases and transfers.

New Requirements At a Glance (Courtesy of The Bradford Era)

  • Shifts New York state from a jurisdiction in which the FBI conducts firearms-related National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks, to one in which the New York State Police are the “point of contact” for background checks.
  • Requires the NYSP to conduct background checks on all firearm and ammunition purchases in the state.
  • Authorizes NYSP to charge fees for each background check on purchases and transfers. Those fees have been set at $9 for firearms and $2.50 for ammunition.
  • Requires the NYSP to create and maintain a statewide firearms license and records database to be used for ammunition sales as well as for the certification and recertification of permits and assault weapon registration.

The SAFE Act and Ammunition Checks

The state mandate for background checks on ammo purchases originated from the draconian 2013 SAFE Act. However, the act faced initial challenges. The needed technology wasn’t available then.

An MOU in 2015 further complicated matters. It prevented state spending on the ammunition check database without a ratified cost plan, as the NRA-ILA reported.

But last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a shift in stance. She confirmed New York’s intent to implement ammunition background checks.

Local Businesses Complain About Delays

A reporter and a manager at a gun shop.
Mary Vann, owner of Vann’s Gun Shop, does not like the new law mandating background checks for ammo purchases. (Photo: WCAX3)

Mary Vann, owner of Vann’s Gun Shop in Plattsburgh, spent eight hours navigating the new system. She expressed significant concern in an interview with WCAX3.

“I hope the whole system dies if I am going to be brutally honest,” said Vann. “It took eight hours between a computer tech and me to play with their website to get their website working.”

She said the state’s treatment of gun owners and dealers is likely to put family-owned FFLs out of business.

“There is less and less of them all the time because it is a lot of work… This, I think, would just kill anybody’s notion of having a family-owned gunshop,” Vann said.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Responds

Mark Oliva, NSSF’s managing director of public affairs, criticized Gov. Hochul’s initiative.

In an email to GunsAmerica, he explained how it shifts the focus from addressing criminal misuse of firearms to burdening firearm retailers.

“Governor Hochul’s order is predictable. Instead of addressing the issue of criminal misuse of firearms as a criminal issue and demanding her state attorney general and district attorneys abandon their soft-on-crime policies, she’s shifted focus and attention to creating more burdens for firearm retailers and barriers for law-abiding gun owners,” said Oliva.

“Her order punishes those who obey the law and treats them as criminals, yet actual criminals are being turned out on the streets with no accountability,” he continued. “There is no indication that criminals, who already ignore the law, will suddenly stop committing crimes because of this punitive order.”

Lawsuit In the Works

State Sen. George Borrello (R-Sunset Bay) has joined a federal lawsuit challenging this new background check mandate for ammo purchases.

“My office has been flooded with calls from law-abiding gun owners, sporting goods dealers and gun clubs who are upset about this latest assault on our Second Amendment rights,” Borrello said in a statement.

“Requiring a background check and fees for each ammunition purchase is unconstitutional and has already proven to be a technological and administrative failure,” he continued.

Clearly, this battle is far from over. As always, stay tuned for updates.

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  • James Giunta September 25, 2023, 6:36 am

    Why is no one mentioning the fact that New York State is now singling out prior and current military when filling out the new state form to check purchases of firearms and ammo? Why does the state want to know whether or not I was in the military or still m in the military or have never been in the military? Our military members now second-class citizens who have less rights than anyone else who wants to purchase a firearm or ammo? What exactly is the state afraid of from military members? What’s next if this is allowed? I’m also a Catholic. With the recent news that the doj wanted to Target certain Catholics as potential domestic terrorists will the next set of questions be what is your religious affiliation? How about what fraternal organizations do I belong to?

  • Jorge September 22, 2023, 5:27 pm

    Heh. The law is working as intended: it was meant to drive dealers out of business with lengthy, time-consuming tasks with little to no value.

  • Berf September 22, 2023, 12:52 pm

    Comrade Hochul is just trying to keep up with comrades Newsom and Bonta of Kalifornia, who lead the nation in communist “gun control” aimed SOLEY at law-abiding citizens in the leftists’ never ending campaign to strip Americans of their Constitutional rights that they hate and despise.

  • EasyEddie September 22, 2023, 11:31 am

    As I’ve said before, the best part of NYS was seeing it in the rearview mirror 5 years ago. Back around 1962 (when guns weren’t really a ‘thing’, and all of us 12 year olds had 22 rifles, mine being a single-shot Mossberg 320 – no serial number back then) we used to hike up to the local store in the Adirondack town we spent summers in and buy a box or two of 22 LR rounds then kill tin cans all day!)

    How times change! Half the nation is now appalled that a 12 year old would have access to a rifle, Child Protective Services would kick in the door and take the child out of the home, SWAT would have a fleet of vehicles surrounding the house while the CNN helicopter filmed it all.

    I still have that Mossberg 320, and consider it the crown jewel of my firearms collection. It was supremely accurate, and I had some of the best times of my life while carrying it through the woods.

  • Walleye September 22, 2023, 11:26 am

    The owner of Vann’s gun shop said “…the state’s treatment of gun owners and dealers is likely to put family-owned FFLs out of business.”

    In my opinion that’s exactly the intent of the new law.

  • Kane September 21, 2023, 10:00 pm

    Love those old sole proprietor gun shops, she seems to have some cool .22’s. She has a Savage Landry Signature Series Mark II FV-SR Gator Camo 22 LR, I just bought won a few monts back, really like it. On the 54-58 second span of the video the gun is next to the pink and black rifle then the MKII and at least 2 other Savages. These shops will soon totally disappear.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment September 20, 2023, 4:36 am

    how long will it be before this will be used to limit amount of ammo purchased, and then have to account what the ammo was used for????

    • Hondo September 22, 2023, 10:10 am

      Don’t give these clowns any ideas Paul.

    • Ted September 22, 2023, 12:25 pm

      That already is part of their plan ! i am positive that if you purchase a “large quantity” of ammo, you will get a knock on the door. Why else would they log every purchase ? So glad i left that cesspool !

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