New York Gun Owners Face Significant Changes

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The state of New York isn’t exactly what anyone would call “gun friendly.”

Quite the contrary. Over the last handful of years, New York state went from a place that might have been hostile to gun ownership but still was in the middle of the pack regarding anti-gun regulation into one of the most prohibitive states in the nation.

Following Bruen, in what should have put an end to a number of anti-gun schemes, New York simply ramped up their efforts, becoming even more anti-gun.

Now, in a matter of weeks, a few of those new restrictions are coming into effect, and folks there need to be aware of them.

There are some significant changes due to take effect early next month in the Empire State.

New York is switching from a jurisdiction in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducts firearms-related NICS background checks, to one in which the New York State Police will conduct all firearm and ammunition-related background checks using both NICS and a pending “statewide license and record database.” This shift is occurring due to legislation enacted last year, NY Exec. Law § 228, which authorizes the state police to act as the “point of contact” for background checks required under “18 U.S.C. sec. 922(t), all federal regulations and applicable guidelines adopted pursuant thereto, and the national instant criminal background check system for the purchase of firearms and ammunition.”

That law directs the Superintendent of State Police to establish a “centralized bureau” for firearm and ammunition background checks.  NY Exec. Law § 228(7) specifies that, within 60 days of July 15, 2023, the superintendent must “notify each licensed dealer holding a permit to sell firearms” to submit requests for background checks to the state police, which appears to be an indirect way of setting a deadline of September 13 (the date the 60-day period expires) for the system to be operational.

Section § 228(5) allows the state to charge fees for background checks using this state database, which fees cannot “exceed the total amount of direct and indirect costs incurred by the bureau in performing such background check.” One source indicates that these fees will add an additional $9 (firearms) and $2.50 (ammunition) to purchases and transfers.

This ties in with another change, one that was passed a while back with the SAFE Act, where ammunition buyers have to undergo a background check.

The problem for New York was that NICS is only for firearm sales. They couldn’t use the system for ammunition sales, but with the state conducting its own background checks, now they can impose this system, and it will be.

Of course, no one in the state should get their hopes up that this will change anything.

About the only thing that will be different there is there’s now a new opportunity for enterprising criminals. They can scoot across state lines, buy up a bunch of ammo–most places don’t require any kind of background check, after all–then come back into the state to set up shop and make a bit of profit.

I’m sure those criminals thank New York for this opportunity.

For the rest of the folks there, though, my condolences. You deserve better, but you were outvoted by those thoroughly indoctrinated in the notion that gun control actually does anything.

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