In a blow to gun owners, New York State’s law requiring background checks for ammunition purchases is now in effect, with the Supreme Court doing nothing to intervene.
The new provision stems from the so-called Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA), signed by Governor Kathy Hochul last July. The CCIA was itself a response to the June 2022 Bruen Supreme Court decision which widely affirmed and extended Second Amendment rights for law-abiding gun owners, including forcing New Jersey and New York to begin issuing permits for concealed carry outside the home.
Specifically, the new law changes the jurisdiction for firearms-related NICS background checks from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) NICS check, to one run by the New York State Police. The law also creates a “statewide license and record database.” (A similar New Jersey law went into effect earlier this year).
The New York law also allows for an increase in fees. A reading of the bill indicates these fees could be an additional $9 (for firearms) and $2.50 (for ammunition) transactions.
A lawsuit brought by plaintiffs Nadine and Seth Gazzola (husband and wife gun store owners) failed to stop the ammo-related provisions of the CCIA from going into effect when Justice Sotomayor rejected an application seeking a stay. The Gazzola family had already suffered losses from a federal trial judge and a federal appeals court prior to seeking relief from the Supreme Court. (Justice Sotomayor handles applications stemming from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.)
According to a Washington Examiner report, the Second Circuit court has yet to act on any of the five major lawsuits against the CCIA that were consolidated for oral arguments on March 20. As we reported earlier this year, the Supreme Court is carefully watching the Second Circuit Appeals court. In their denial for an emergency stay on a different but related CCIA case, they wrote, “Applicants should not be deterred by today’s order from again seeking relief if the Second Circuit does not, within a reasonable time, provide an explanation for its stay order or expedite consideration of appeal.”
New York news station, WKBW, reached out to several gun store owners, all of whom report lacking critical information to sell guns and ammunition with confidence under the new law, using the new system.
“No dealer in New York has been contacted by the state about how it will work,” said Dean Adamski, Owner, DD’s Ranch in Alden, according to WKBW’s interview.
As usual, such measures chill the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights in states that are already hostile to the Second Amendment.
We will continue to cover this story.