Schuyler SCOPE Legal Update
Every month, Schuyler County SCOPE sends out an update on some of the latest news concerning firearms. The November update had several sections dedicated to the new ammo background checks.
Mass Confusion Over New York’s New CCW, Ammunition, & Gun Transfer Laws
- New York’s Gun Law Amendments: The Hochul Government’s changes are viewed as worsening the issues and not aligning with recent Supreme Court rulings.
- Opposition to the Second Amendment: New York’s leadership, especially under Hochul and Cuomo, is criticized for curbing Second Amendment rights.
- Ammunition Background Check Issues: Hochul’s attempt at implementing background checks for ammunition mirrors Cuomo’s failed 2013 attempt, causing processing delays.
- Unclear Leadership: The recent resignation of the New York Superintendent of State Police, Steven Nigrelli, adds to the uncertainty and complexity of gun law enforcement.
- Controversial Gun Policies: Policies around firearm storage, proof, and fees for background checks are being challenged as infringements on citizen rights.
New York Concealed Carry Improvement Act’s background check for ammunition is hurting local business
- New York’s rollout of background checks to buy firearm ammunition is creating issues for sellers and buyers alike.
- The state’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act took effect in early September and includes a background check prior to the purchase of ammunition as well as a $9 fee for a background check to buy a firearm and a $2.50 fee for a background check for ammunition. The mandates effectively circumvent the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco and Firearms and the national background check the ATF is supposed to undertake, and instead places the background checks to be conducted in the hands of the New York State Police instead.
- “I’ve lost about $300 worth of sales this week alone,” said Bruce Piatz, the owner of M&M Sport’s Den. “The new system takes a lot longer to process than the federal one, it crashes often, and when you call the number they gave us to call for assistance it just keeps ringing … no one picks it up, it’s a mess.”
- Piatz wasn’t done with this lambasting just yet.
- “I know several customers who walked out and said, ‘I’ll just go across the border.’ So instead of us and the state getting a fee, Pennsylvania reaps the benefits,” Piatz said.
- Piatz wasn’t alone in his assessment. Firearms training instructors are also being effected by the legislation, including one who said he as placed on a terrorism watch list (for buying ammunition in bulk).
Sheriff Stymied In Ammo Purchase After New Law Kicks In
- New regulations that require state-conducted background checks for gun and ammunition buyers in New York state recently left one area resident in the lurch.
- The individual? Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone.
- “On Sept. 22, I attempted to purchase two boxes of shotgun shells at a local sports store,” Quattrone told The Post-Journal. “These shells were to be used at a trap/skeet shoot that I was sponsoring to raise funds for a new nonprofit organization.”
- Approval for Quattrone’s purchase didn’t come for another 25 hours — one hour after the fundraiser ended.
Legislator: Hunters Should Be Exempt From Ammo Tax
- Hunters or conceal-carry license holders should be exempt from additional ammunition background checks and fees, according to one Central New York state legislator.
- Assemblyman Joseph Angelino, R-Norwich, has introduced A.8085 to amend the state Penal Law to allow licensed individuals to purchase or take possession of ammunition without requiring contacting the statewide license and record database for a background check. The check is called for in the Concealed Carry Improvement Act passed by the state Legislature in 2022 and which took effect in September.
- “Licensed individuals with a pistol permit and semi-automatic rifle endorsement have already been through a significant background check and are required to recertify that permit,” Angelino wrote in his legislative justification. “Both pistol permit holders, and those with hunting licenses, have proven their ability to safely carry firearms and ammunition by taking New York state courses approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation. This legislation would exempt such licensed individuals from the duplicate background check and fees being imposed.”
- Angelino’s legislation is unlikely to be approved in the Democrat-controlled state Legislature.
Sheriffs join pushback to New York state's ammo background check system
- County sheriffs in upstate communities are voicing concerns about the state's 2-week-old ammunition background check system, saying they disagree with state political leaders that it will reduce gun violence in the state.
- More members of law enforcement …spoke out about the New York State Police background check system as issues persist.
- More than 14,000 transactions for people to buy firearms and ammunition have been approved since the new law took effect Sept. 13, including more than 6,100 transactions approved for firearm purchases and 8,300 approved transactions for ammunition. State police refuse to release the number of applications that have been denied.
- The department will provide statistical system data in an annual report, per the law.
- State police also will not discuss the grounds, nor specific reasons they use to deny an attempted firearm or ammunition purchase, or respond to questions about why retired law enforcement have been rejected. Police provide the applicant a reason for denial upon appeal.
- Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino says he continues to hear about delays in certain parts of the state, especially for people with minor crimes on their record from decades ago, or dismissed charges that trip the system.
For more Schuyler Co. SCOPE Legal Updates