Some background checks for ammunition purchases slow

Background Checks for Ammunition

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – New York State now requires a background check be run every time a person buys ammunition. It doesn’t matter what kind of ammunition you’re buying or how many boxes, you can’t cash out until the check is complete.

As of September 2023, everyone making a purchase must present identification and while most people can pass the check and can cash out within a few minutes, that’s not the case for everyone.

“There’s a lot of people that wait right until the day before or even the morning of, they’re going to hunt and they would come here and say, “I’d like my one box that I’ve bought every year like this” and now they have to do a background check and sometimes people don’t get to leave with their ammo right away,” explains Brandon Lewis, the owner of The Firing Pin in Bergen.

Lewis says at times it can take an hour, a day or even a week for someone’s background check to come back.

NYS Police are tasked with doing the checks. A spokesperson has told News10NBC that Troopers use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that’s used federally for gun purchases.

“They (feds) just asked, are you buying a handgun or a long gun and that was it,” explains Lewis. “With NYS’s system, we have to type in the serial number of the firearm that a customer is buying. I’s creating a backdoor registry which is illegal on the federal level, but the state is welcome to do it all they want.”
The NYS Law requires disclosure of your exact purchase.

“The state asks us, are they buying ammunition, are they buying a rifle and ammunition, or are they buying a shotgun, a shotgun and ammunition,” Lewis explains.

The customer also has to pay a fee for those background checks. It’s $9 for a gun background check and or $2.50 for ammunition background transactions.