New law on background checks in New York State

Governor Kathy Hochul signed an order on gun legislation one year ago that, effective today, changes the way gun retailers can sell ammunition and antique firearms in New York State.

"Public safety is my top priority, and I’m committed to doing everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe."  Gov. Kathy Hochul


Beginning today, Sept. 13, New York gun shops will be required to submit background checks on ammunition to the New York State Police instead of directly to the FBI. This is part of gun legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul signed last year.

Why the change?

In a statement from Gov. Hochul, this new order from Justice Sotomayor "will ensure that the legislation’s provisions related to stronger background checks for guns and ammunition....will continue to move full speed ahead. Public safety is my top priority, and I’m committed to doing everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe.”

The way it used to work

In the past, gun retailers would send consumer background checks directly to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and then the government would tell the retailer if that person was a "yes" or a "no".

Now, retailers will contact a Trooper - who will then get in touch with the NICS -  who will then relay the info back to the retailers.

According to the new law, retailers must get approval from the state's NICS before the sale of a firearm, rifle, shotgun, and ammunition can be completed.

Additional info about the new law, including cost.

According to State Police, if someone fails an ammunition background check will have 30 days to appeal.

In addition, according to State Police, there will be a $9 fee for a firearm background check and a $2.50 payment for an ammunition check which they say is used to fund the state's NICS unit and the background check system.

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