New York lawmakers seek statewide limits on ammo purchases

New York lawmakers seek statewide limits on ammo purchases

“There’s a duty to put public safety first in the face of the calculated, unrestricted stockpiling of deadly ammo,” explained the lawmakers at a Dec. 20 news conference. (Photo: Eric Adams/Twitter)

Democrats in the New York Assembly and Senate joined with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to unveil a push severely limiting ammunition purchases in the interests of safety.

The proposal, endorsed by Adams, is the brainchild of state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, both Democrats who represent the borough in Albany. The measure would limit bullet purchases to twice the registered gun’s capacity once every 90 days – even if that meant buying less than one box of ammunition at a time, as reported by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Adams, who backed the controversial SAFE Act – or the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act – in 2013 as a state senator and has been a vocal champion of gun control measures, contends the limits are needed to save lives, saying, there is “a responsibility to put public safety first, in the face of the blood-soaked carnage of mass shootings, made possible by the calculated and unrestricted stockpiling of thousands of deadly ammunition rounds.”

The draft measure, to be introduced in both chambers of the state legislature, would expand New York State Penal Law to cover both the quantities of ammunition that can be sold to gun owners with permits and establish a three-month waiting period before more bullets can be bought. With the SAFE Act’s requirement to establish a database of ammunition sales while throwing up a roadblock to Internet sales of live ammo still in the works, the limits would be enforceable across the state once such a database became active.

While there may be a carve-out for target shooters and law enforcement to purchase more than the rationed amount of ammo, those seeking such an exemption would have to show reason.

“Ammunition regulations are a necessary step in the battle against increased gun violence in our community,” said Persaud. “We can create legislation that imposes a waiting period and a reason of purchase, for what is considered to be an ‘excessive’ amount of ammunition, as a solution to prevent ammunition stockpiling.”

Those who violate the law would be subject to a Class E felony, which carries a punishment of up to four years in prison with a mandatory minimum of one year.

New York’s 2016 Legislative Session convenes with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address Jan. 6, 2016.