New York Attorney General Threatens Ammo Sellers

32 acp vs 380 vs 9mm
In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, “39 ammunition sellers have been shipping ammunition directly to New York residents in violation of New York’s SAFE Act.”

According to a press release from her office, “Attorney General James sent cease and desist orders to these ammunition sellers demanding that they stop shipping ammunition directly to New York and warned them of serious legal consequences if they continue to violate New York’s law.”

The only problem is that how the SAFE Act actually impacts the sale of ammunition in New York remains unclear; even though it was originally signed into law in 2013.

As you may recall, New York’s SAFE Act was introduced, passed, and enacted literally overnight in January of 2013. It received zero legislative scrutiny, and zero opportunity for the public to review the proposal before it was voted on. In fact, few legislators, if any, were even able to carefully read the legislation before a late-night vote was forced upon them.

Of course, given the unprecedented break-neck speed of the legislative process with the SAFE Act—necessary because anti-gun extremists in New York were determined to exploit a recent firearm-related tragedy—the law had serious flaws; besides the obvious attack on law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment. Even then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)—who helped champion, then signed into law, the SAFE Act—openly admitted mistakes were made with what was arguably the most anti-gun legislative package ever passed; anywhere.

One of those mistakes related to the purchase of ammunition. One of the provisions of the law is a requirement that, within 30 days of a statewide license and record database becoming operational, no retail seller of ammunition may transfer ammunition to any non-dealer without recording the details of the transaction with the database (“amount, caliber, manufacturer’s name and serial number, if any, of such ammunition”) and running a background check on the buyer. All commercial sales and transfers of ammunition have to go through a licensed dealer and such transfers “must occur in person,” imposing a ban on internet sales that bypass these requirements.

More than two years after the law was enacted, though, the database did not exist. This led to the Cuomo Administration entering into a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) in 2015. The MOU, also signed by then-Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, noted that then-New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico had informed the legislature “of the lack of adequate technology to allow the Database to operate,” and acknowledged that “the [ammunition] Database cannot be established and/or function in the manner originally intended at this time.” As a result, the MOU purports to suspend the provisions of the law referencing “the use” of the statewide ammunition database.

At the time of the Cuomo MOU, how that document impacted online sales and home delivery of ammunition was never clarified. While some reported the MOU ended the SAFE Act’s ban on internet sales of ammunition, Cuomo’s office released an “explanation” that only muddied the waters, stating, “The memorandum can in no way supersede the law as passed by the legislature and further, there is nothing in the memorandum that is inconsistent with the letter, spirit or intent of the law.”

Seven years later, and nearly a decade after the SAFE Act’s passage, the database STILL does not exist, and there remains confusion over how the SAFE Act impacts ammunition.

Which brings us back to AG James.

While her office has done little, if anything, with relation to the ammunition provisions in the SAFE Act during her four years as AG, her recent press release indicates she is now looking at online sellers of ammunition.

So, what changed?

Earlier this year, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) held a press conference to discuss what New York was doing in response to the landmark New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v Bruen decision handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

Of course, rather than accept the ruling, and have New York’s laws conform to it, Hochul demanded the New York Legislature defy the SCOTUS decision. Just as was done with the SAFE Act nearly a decade earlier, the New York Legislature forced another anti-gun bill through with little, if any, consideration.

Although Hochul’s new law, misleadingly titled the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act,” does not address the sale of ammunition, it was during that aforementioned press conference Hochul used to announce her flaunting her contempt of SCOTUS that may have shed some light on the recent actions of AG James.

Hochul declared, while ranting about the Bruen decision, that she had discovered the old Cuomo MOU. She claimed the MOU “blocked the State from taking critical measures to keep ammunition away from criminals.” She then stated, “So we are literally tearing it up and New York will now require and conduct background checks for all ammunition purchases.”

It remains to be seen how she will “require and conduct background checks for all ammunition purchases” when the necessary database for implementation of that aspect of the SAFE Act still does not exist.

Perhaps more noteworthy, though, is the fact that AG James had not done anything to act on what she claims to be violations of the SAFE Act allegedly committed by ammunition sellers until AFTER Hochul declared the Cuomo MOU no longer in effect.

It is certainly conceivable that the 29 ammunition sellers James has said she is targeting have been operating in a manner that they believed was in complete compliance with the SAFE Act and the Cuomo MOU. And considering the stridently anti-gun positions James has held for years, it is also conceivable that she, too, felt that these sellers were in compliance for the four years since she became AG, and is only now taking action because Gov. Hochul rescinded the MOU.

This is obviously a developing story, so we will be sure to keep you apprised of anything new to report as information becomes available.


About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Subscribe
Notify of
25 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JimQ

these politicians are out of control. They need to face consequences for their ridiculous laws.

swmft

like a rope and stretching in central park?

Arizona

Tar… feathers… lamp poles… duels… they all worked great in the past.

musicman44mag

Hi Arizona. Not being mean or nasty but what the hell happened? I thought AZ was a hard republican state and this term the news is saying a demonkkkrat was elected governor. If that happens, it will only be a matter of time before you become orGONEistanized or Coloradoistanized unless you can pull a Montana turn around. Thank God you already have constitutional carry. You know that will be the first thing a demonratt governor will attack including magazines and semi auto. I know firsthand. Now I am concerned about Texas and let’s not forget Nancy pukeoski just bought a… Read more »

RetUSAF

This Nancy Pelosi Florida mansion is fake news, just to rattle us conservatives.

But I agree with your other comments. When it takes two weeks to count votes, something stinks and the people running things are totally incompetent.

Ope

RetUSAF, when it takes weeks to count votes (a process that should take hours at the most) it’s not going to end well for Republicans. . I am shocked that a state esp.like Arizona is still involved in such extreme and obvious election fraud. It’s just so damn flagrant. Kari Lake being the latest victim of those tyrants.

Monkey Mouse

They are going to get to the point where 150,000 armed residents show up in Albany and their security (which won’t stop shit) will give these politicians up.

RayJN

Unfortunately, there are no consequences for these politicians. SOTUS makes a ruling, they pass another unconstitutional law that must work through the court again. No contempt of court, no punishment.

Dry gulched

They continue to vote the lunatic left into and back into office. New york and california get what they deserve so don’t shed any tears for them. Until the looney leftists are no longer in power nothing will change.

An-Old -One

The problem with that thought is, it is the large cities ( in these States ) doing the electing. I worked for 3 yrs. in NY state. Rural counties don’t do this stupid stuff, mostly. I was in UP STATE areas. Totally different from NY city or the like.

gregs

you are right. when you centralize anything it becomes more powerful and depraved, politics, government and people. usually nothing good happens when you centralize anything.

musicman44mag

Here is the problem in all states. The laws are enacted by the majority of votes it receives. If it were by the number of counties instead, the big cities would lose every time. Somehow, we need to change that in all states. My opinion is, that if in Oregoneistan you can vote to remove or infringe or hinder my constitutional right than I can vote to change how your system works. I would like to see a measure on the ballot to change our system to county majority but the left legislature we have here would somehow find that… Read more »

musicman44mag

Please read gregs.

musicman44mag

OreGONEistan, supports your statement.

CourageousLion

The problem is the 49% that DIDN’T Vote for these psychopathic control freaks. And it’s become too damn easy to cheat when it is close.

Tionico

Are you CERTAIN the people really VOTED for this wretched piece of sorry humanity, or were the ones countng the votes got paid off to “count them all proper like”?

J.galt

Defy, defy, defy, smuggle and defy.

F’ em!

CourageousLion

“A regrettably large share of our legal experiences operate not in the shadow of the Constitution and its constraints, but rather in the shadow of explicitly unconstitutional rules, actions, and orders. In the time it takes for improper Executive Orders to be reined in, for illicit administrative decisions to be corrected, and for misinterpretations of constitutional power to be overturned, so much of society’s activity is framed by what we might call the not-Constitution — all those acts of government that are deemed illegal only after they have caused enduring harm. A most troubling aspect of government power is its… Read more »

Monkey Mouse

All ammo sellers need to completely cut off the state of NY from all ammo. Maybe that will fix the problem.

musicman44mag

That will help support exactly what the governor wants! No ammo.

How about the ammo dealers go there and sell it to the people on the streets at their cost plus just enough to keep them in business and pay all salary’s for a year? Flood the streets with ammo so everyone can have some, even the ones without guns and especially people that want to store and hoard it for a rainy day instead!!!!

Country Boy

In NY the ammo sellers on the street would be robbed by street gangs………

CourageousLion

I think the idea was to cut the supply off to the police, national guard etc. THE WHOLE STATE. So that they don’t have any ammo either.

musicman44mag

That may have been the idea but that is not what was said. When the people have no ammo or arms we are done. Based on your messages and what I have read, you know that we know that, and any red-blooded 2nd amendment supporter knows that.

Dan

hochul needs to shave her head. She has the ‘Captain Picard’ syndrome. “Make it so”. Or as they say “all hat and no cattle’. I am so tired of these jokers.

musicman44mag

Gee I think I see a plan for OreGONEistan in this. Make a law that you have to have a license to buy a gun which requires training by the police department which we only have the police not the trainers, training at the police shooting facility which some police don’t have and they train at their local shooting range, get the FBI background check and fingerprints, pass the shooting portion of the training after passing the background check and then record the names of all people that passed everything in a database that doesn’t exist and might not exist… Read more »