Legislature supports ending background-check fees

Dec 18, 2023 at 05:53 pm by Observer-Review

steven getman
WATKINS GLEN—The Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution on Monday, Dec. 11 calling for the state to repeal its recently enacted background-check fees for guns and ammunition.
The resolution was submitted to the County Legislature by County Clerk Theresa Philbin. It was drafted by County Attorney Steven Getman.
The draft resolution was unanimously approved by the county’s Management and Finance Committee, chaired by legislator Phil Barnes (R-Watkins Glen) at its meeting on November 27 for presentation to the full legislature.
The “Concealed Carry Improvement Act”, signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2022, outlines new requirements for pistol permits, prohibits guns in multiple places even with a lawful permit, and requires background checks on ammunition purchases.
Under the act, New York State Police oversee all background checks for firearms and ammunition purchases in the state. The state fees for background checks under the new system are passed onto consumers at costs of $2.50 for every ammunition purchase and $9 for every firearm purchase. These new charges were effective in September.
Since September, several news organizations have reported that gun owners statewide have been improperly denied, or experienced lengthy delays to purchase ammunition for their legal firearms.
Philbin said the act “punishes legal gun owners and local businesses.”
“Those who don’t want to take the extra time and expense for a background check to buy their ammunition will go to neighboring Pennsylvania to purchase it,” she said. “That hurts local sporting goods stores and gun shops.”
According to Getman, the law is currently under challenge in various state and federal courts, as a possible infringement on lawful gun owners’ constitutional rights
Previously, Getman noted, background checks were completed quickly using the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, at no charge to consumers.
State Sen. Mark Walczyk (R-49) has sponsored a new bill to repeal the background check fees for firearm and ammunition purchases. The resolution asks the legislature to pass it and the governor to sign it.
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