North country gun shop owner critical of new requirements

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 4:52 PM EDT
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TOWN OF WATSON, New York (WWNY) - Changes are coming for both gun owners, and gun retailers. Some north country shop owners aren’t happy about it.

Starting September 13th, gearing up to go out shooting or hunting is going to require more time, more money, and more documentation.

“Ammunition, we’ve never had to do background checks. That is really going to add a big burden. What used to be a simply transaction like buying milk may now involve upwards of an hour worth of work,” said Patrick Morse, owner of No. 4 Tactical in the town of Watson.

New York State is rolling out new registration requirements for both firearm, and ammunition purchases. Democratic lawmakers are saying the new steps will add extra layers of safety.

Morse said new background checks for bullets, and additional charges to do so, not only are inconvenient, but also unconstitutional.

It’s very frustrating,” Morse said. “We already have a really good system, the FBI NICS in place. This is just another level of bureaucracy that is not going to do anything expect hinder and harass gun owners and dealers.”

The changes also mean New York State Police will take over doing background checks instead of the retailer. It will now cost an additional $9 to register a firearm. Previously there was no charge. Another change, the amount of ammo you buy, and the type of ammo, will now be documented.

“They’ve also said that the ammunition can no longer be within reach of the customer. So it either has to be behind the counter, or if you’re a location like mine where there’s not enough room, you have to buy display cases that are locked,” Morse said.

Along with changes for gun owners, there are also changes in store for gun retailers.

“Bars on the windows, steel-reinforced doors,” Morse said.

New York State is also enforcing that all gun stores have cameras, inside and out. The 24 hour a day footage also needs to be stored on a third party cloud, which the state can review. The cost for the cabinets, and additional security measures, all at the expense of the store owners.