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Schuyler County passes resolution calling on NY state to repeal new fees on gun, ammo purchases

December meeting of the Schuyler County Legislature. Photo (l-r) James Howell Jr, Gary Gray, David Reed, Michael Lausell, Steven Getman, Jamee  Mack, Stacy Husted, Carl Blowers, Mark Rondinaro, Laurence Jaynes.
Natalie Abruzzo
December meeting of the Schuyler County Legislature.

The Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution on Monday calling on New York state to repeal new fees for background checks on certain firearm and ammunition purchases.

"These laws have been developed without any input from the shooting community, and they are being expected to fund them,” said Mark Rondinaro, county legislator for District VII in the town of Redding. “If this is something, it's basically something that is being laid down from the top, then the government itself should be funding that not the people who are exercising a fundamental right, guaranteed under the Constitution.”

Rondinaro is referring to the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” of 2022 and its requirement of a $2.50 fee for each ammunition purchase and a $9 fee for each firearm purchase, paid for by the gun owner to the New York State Police, who process background checks.

The fees went into effect in September.

County Clerk Theresa Philben helped draft the resolution along with County Attorney Steve Getman. Philben processes all gun permits in the county.

“Everything is just another small hurdle that keeps building up slowly against the legal gun carriers in New York state,” said Philben. “Like I said in the meeting, it was more like dying a death of a thousand cuts instead of just one big gash and getting it over with and trying to take your rights away.”

Philben and Rondinaro said anecdotally, they have heard of county residents traveling to Pennsylvania to make gun and ammo purchases to avoid the fees. It is unclear how pervasive this problem might be within the county.

The resolution passed with seven votes in favor. One legislator was absent from the meeting.