Stores holding ammo due to new gun law

SPRINGVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The new gun restrictions in New York State are stirring up confusion and frustration. Some stores are not selling ammunition until they get some answers.

Ken Kassel runs a small sporting goods business in the Springville area. These days he's troubled and confused by the state's new gun control laws. One component requires people buying ammunition to undergo background checks.

Kassel said, "People want ammo. I'd like to sell it to them. But I'm not sure if I can. Right now I'm holding it. But after they told me yesterday I'm allowed to sell it because they're not going to enforce anything until there's a database to even work with."

State Senator Patrick Gallivan says his understanding of the law is that, as of today, there are no restrictions.

"As far as sellers of ammunition, with the exception of not being able to sell a 10-round or larger magazine, they still have the ability to sell ammunition without a background check at this point in time," Sen. Gallivan said.

What's more, a record of the ammo sale would be sent to the State Police. Authorities would be alerted to high volume purchases. But Kassel, who shoots competitively in tournaments, says that could present false alarms.

"I travel the country shooting competition. I shoot 50,000-rounds a year. Now it's going to come up on a database I must be a terrorist because why do you have all this ammo?" Kassel said.

The law also bans magazines holding more than seven rounds. Yet there's no provision limiting the number of clips someone can buy. Sen. Gallivan, a former State Police captain and Erie County Sheriff, voted against it.

"The data clearly shows that cosmetic changes will have no impact on public safety," Sen. Gallivan said. "And when you couple that with the additional impositions on law abiding citizens, I just couldn't in good conscience vote for something like that."

And there are complaints that the new law does not explicitly exempt police officers from a ban on high-capacity magazines. Officers typically use magazines that hold twice as many bullets as the new law allows.

Sen. Gallivan said, "Technically they would be [in violation]. But in a practical sense, I think that everybody recognizes that it was an oversight in the law. And the law will simply be fixed right when we go back to Albany with a chapter amendment."

State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico was asked about the oversight in Albany, and he responded, "Police officers have always been exempt from these weapons bans and they will be going forward."

State officials held a news conference Friday afternoon to announce a new website and hotline number for people with questions about the new law. The number to call is: 1-855-529-4867 . And here is a direct link to the website: http://www.governor.ny.gov/2013/gun-reforms-faq .

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