New York's ammunition background
check system is a hot mess

By Lee Williams. Sept 19, 2023

If you want to buy a box of shotgun shells or even .22 LR anywhere in New York state, be prepared for a bevy of personal questions, a background check that includes a $2.50 fee, and a long wait.

A new state law went into effect last week, which requires ammunition retailers – who must all be licensed by the state – to conduct background checks through the State Police of all ammunition purchasers. The law also requires retailers to create and maintain a database of the purchasers' personal information as well as a list of exactly what they bought, to include the number of rounds.

Mike Mayhood, owner of Mayhood's Sporting Goods in Norwich, New York, said the new system is fraught with problems – procedural and constitutional – and will likely put many ammunition retailers out of business.

"We lose money on every box of ammo we sell because of the time involved," Mayhood said last week. "I've never seen things so difficult. It's not going to get easier. We're going to have to raise our prices. We know it's all intentional."

It can take Mayhood and his employees up to 15 minutes just to enter the information required by State Police into their computer, and then there are delays. .....


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