R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
Proposed Laws Concern Gun Owners
by Mike Hedeen
photo by Todd Krupa
Published Apr 21, 2009
Some new laws being proposed in the state legislature are striking fear in those who own and sell guns. They believe if passed and signed by the governor, it would put more restrictions on those who legally possess firearms.
"It's increased our business dramatically but we're just working twice as hard trying to keep up with it," said Mike Barrett, a gun shop manager in Batavia. He says customers are stocking up in the event these proposals become law.
The proposals include:
New regulations for buying bullets where the purchaser would be required to fill out an application that would include the make, model and manufacturer of the firearm the bullets are intended for.
Requiring manufacturers to use an ammunition coding system for all handgun and assault rifle ammunition sold in New York State.
The creation and imposition of restrictive commercial practices and stringent record keeping and reporting to prevent gun sales to criminals. It would require dealers to carry $1 million in liability insurance.
The renewal of firearm licenses every five years.
Limiting the purchase of all shells to 100 rounds every 90 days.
"On a state and federal level they have an objective and they just want to eliminate guns period in the United States any way, shape or form,” Barrett said. “And people that doubt that, we got the information to back it up and say we're not just dreaming this up."
Limiting shell purchases to 100 rounds per 90 days is a major concern to those who shoot competitively. They say it's easy to spend more than 100 rounds on any given afternoon.
"Every time you want to go you're going to have to plan three days ahead,” said James Pontillo, a recreational shooter from Genesee County. “You're going to have to go down, buy the ammo, and now you're going to have three or four people with you because if I go down and we can shoot 100 rounds of .22 shells it's basically like shooting a BB gun."
Gun owners from across the state will travel to Albany next week where they will try to persuade state lawmakers to reconsider a number of proposed laws that they believe will restrict their rights to own firearms.
The Genesee County chapter of the Shooters' Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) is sponsoring a bus trip to the capitol on Wednesday, April 27. The group believes that even though similar gun legislation has been proposed in the past, this is the year it could pass.
"Most of the years these laws have passed the Assembly and the Senate stopped it or the governor stopped it,” explained SCOPE Vice President Jack Taylor. “But right now it looks like this governor would sign anti-gun legislation and we don't know what the senate's going to do so that's why we're going to go down there and try to help educate them and hopefully prevent some of this stuff from happening."
Barrett believes if this legislation does become law, particularly the limit on ammunition, his business will suffer.
"If people couldn't get the ammunition they wouldn't buy the guns, we'd lose a good portion of our business, a very good portion of our business."