New York State Police to Replace Federal Background Check System for Gun and Ammo Purchases

Credit: Brett Hondow

(WNY News Now) – Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s decision upholding New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act ensures that the law takes effect today. Effective today New York State Police will take over background checks for gun and ammunition purchases, introducing fees of $9 for guns and $2.50 for ammunition.

Albany – September 13, 2023, the New York State Police will assume responsibility for conducting background checks on individuals seeking to purchase firearms and ammunition within the state. This change will see the replacement of the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for in-state transactions, and it comes with a new financial burden for New Yorkers.

Until today the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check was used as a free background check for people wishing to purchase a gun. Under the new law the State will impose a fee of $9 for each gun background check and $2.50 for ammunition, paid every time a purchase is made.

While some politicians like New York Governor Kathy Hochul lauded Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s decision others are critical of the new measures.

One vocal opponent of these new regulations is Senator Walczyk, who has long held that such fees infringe upon New Yorkers’ right to bear arms. He previously voted against the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) in the Assembly, citing constitutional concerns.

“The surcharge on ammo is ridiculous and unconstitutional,” Senator Walczyk asserted. “NICS checks on gun purchases are a common sense way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. However, Kathy Hochul’s ammo tax only penalizes law-abiding firearm owners. This Albany Democrat overreach is going to hurt small gun shops across New York, and jobs are going to be lost across the state as a direct result of this policy. Because Democrats continue to scribble over the US Constitution, I’ve penned a new bill to repeal the ammunition and gun purchase fees.”

While the law may only take effect today the impact is sure to be felt in a region like western New York for the foreseeable future. Residents have taken to social media to voice their displeasure with many questioning the impact on local retailers.


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