New Yorkers are flocking to Pennsylvania with cash in hand thanks to a new law regarding the purchase of ammunition.
That new law, SAFE Act, went into effect on Sept. 13 and is creating major headaches for sellers in New York but generating a lot of business for gun shops in the Erie region.
“Now there’s an extra step in there and we cannot sell the ammunition it’s not only until they fill out the background check but we have to receive a proceed response from the New York State police,” said Josh Hawkins, general manager and co-owner of Just Holster It Firearms and Training Center.
In addition, retail stores in New York now have to keep a registry of what their customer buys — including serial numbers and how much ammunition they’re buying.
But that’s not all. For every ammunition purchase, the customer has to pay a fee of $2.50.
“We certainly do have more customers that will buy larger quantities so that they can spread the fee out,” Hawkins added.
Hawkins went on to say other customers are telling him they’re never buying ammunition in New York state again. He added the new law is frustrating for gun store owners, and one owner in the North East, Pennsylvania, agrees.
“It’s unreasonably difficult and unfair to anyone. I mean if you wanted to buy one small box of 22 shells you’d have to undergo a background check, which sometimes can be delayed for hours or even days, it’s just ridiculous,” said Kory Edwards, owner of Valley Gun Works.
Edwards added the influx of customers is making it harder for him to keep his inventory in stock.
“I talk to my distributors daily and they’ve seen a huge impact. They have to forecast inventory that they need for specific times and when it takes a huge hit like this, an unexpected hit, they’re short on inventory then they haven’t got it to sell to me,” Edwards said.
Hawkins said smaller shops in his area have shut down to avoid dealing with the SAFE Act.