ELMIRA – On Monday evening, the Schuyler County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution calling for the state to repeal background check fees on guns and ammunition was submitted by the Schuyler County Clerk and drafted by the County Attorney.
The Libertarian Party of Chemung County says the resolution is a symbolic show of support for a State Senate Bill making its way through Albany. Under the new law which went into effect in September, gun owners have to complete a never before required background check for ammunition, and the gun background checks now get routed through the New York State Police and then forwarded to federal agencies.
Formerly, background checks were completed quickly using the Federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, at no charge to consumers.
“It’s redundant because most of the people have already gone through background checks for firearms, and the federal system has been in place to do this for years. The pending court challenges allege that these additional costs are a violation of the Second Amendment,” said Schulyler County Attorney Steven Getman.
Both new background checks carry a state surcharge, which some believe is a clear money grab from an already overtaxed population. A background check for a handgun or rifle is $9 and for ammo, it’s $2.50 per transaction. The background check can take anywhere from minutes, to hours, or even days. Some people have reported their purchases have wrongfully been denied, the group says.
Because of the fees and long waits, many gun owners are heading to Pennsylvania for their ammo and guns due to being so close to the border. With that sportsmen and women are making other related purchases out of state, costing local business a lot of money.
Mountaintop Firearms and Gunsmithing is located in Spencer, the owner said he’s experienced a loss in sales because of the state-wide stricter gun laws. Michael Keegan said he stopped selling guns and ammo the day the law went into effect.
Keegan said when he sold guns and ammo, those sales amounted to 30 to 40 percent of the shop’s income and profits have dropped about 50 percent.
“It’s clear Governor Hochul doesn’t care about our natural right of self defense and disregards the US Constitution’s 2nd amendment. Law abiding citizens are the only ones that will try to follow the law. People that intend to do harm with a firearm aren’t going to go through a background check and will instead acquire what they desire on the black market, they don’t care about the law” says LPCC Chair Craig Colwell
Colwell says the LPCC has sent emails to each of the Chemung County Legislators, urging Chairman Margeson to place a similar resolution on the agenda for the Legislature to consider and vote on. An email has also been sent to County Executive Moss and Sheriff Schrom asking them to do more to protect the inalienable rights of the citizens and businesses of Chemung County.