Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NY Ammunition Laws. What a Mess!


 PURPOSE: To both track ammunition purchases in real time to permit alerts on high volume buyers, while also checking on the buyer's background.

Section 50 of the bill enhances control over sales of ammunition by adding a new Penal Law 400.03 requiring

(1) that sellers of ammunition register with the superintendent of the State police

(2) that prior to a sale of ammunition, a seller must run the buyer through a State-created review of disqualifiers to ensure that the buyer is not prohibited by law from possessing ammunition, and

(3) that ammunition sales are electronically accessible to the State.

In addition, to prevent from purchasing ammunition, the bill requires that any ammunition sold commercially must be conducted by a seller that can perform a background check.


The new law also provides a mechanism to identify individual who purchase unusually high volumes of ammunition, either in person or over the Internet. Sellers must run the buyer's name through a State database modeled after the federal "NICS" database to ensure the buyer is not prohibited by law from possessing ammunition. Ammunition sellers are also required to electronically file with the State records of each ammunition sale, including amount sold.

In order to prevent circumvention of these new controls, this bill requires that any seller--whether located in New York or out of state-ship the ammunition to a dealer within New York for in-person pick-up. The dealer is required to maintain records of the ammunition sale and to perform a State review of disqualifiers. Direct shipment of ammunition without a face-to-face transaction prevents a seller from being able to adequately confirm the identity of a buyer through the in-person inspection of a valid photo ID. Without adequate confirmation of a buyer's identity, the benefits of background checks and record keeping are completely circumvented. A law requiring all ammunition sales to culminate in a face-to-face transfer, thereby allowing for effective confirmation of purchaser identity and corresponding background check, is consistent with this scheme.


What is large volume?  A trap shooter can easily shoot four cases of shells (1000 shells) at one shoot!  Attendance at 5 or 6 major shoots each year, plus practice and attendance at smaller shooters is how much ammunition purchased?

What does "any ammunition sold commercially" mean?  Can I sell to a fellow shooter who runs short at a shoot?  At what point do I become a seller if I can sell directly without doing a background check? 

How will this effect your gun club?  The club that sells small qualities of ammunition, not only during weekly practice, but also for tournament shooting.  They are selling commercially or are they? Background checks required or not?

What of the many Canadians who shoot in the state of New York?  How will a background check be conducted if they need to purchase ammunition while attending a tournament at the club or if they run over to the local gun store to purchase ammunition? 

1 comment:


    So the way the law is written, you will need a license to simply POSSESS (keep) ammunition in NYS. So nope, you can't sell ammunition to your buddy, without going through a dealer. Any transfer of ammunition from one person to another has to go through a dealer. This will all but end ammunition sales at gun clubs and shoots, because few will be able to comply. Imagine filling out paperwork and waiting for a background check at a shoot because you’re in the middle of a shootoff, and run short. And I doubt out of staters will be able to even buy ammunition in NYS anymore, because the NICS-style background check system will only encompass NYS residents, so you'll come up as an unknown person in the system.