BREAKING: NY Won’t Implement SAFE Act Ammo Background Checks or Sales Database

It’s been a bad few weeks for the illusion of big government competence. “The Cuomo administration’s director of state operations, James Malatras, has signed a memorandum of understanding with State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to undo certain aspects of the New York SAFE Act gun control law, though the major changes affect provisions of the law that were never implemented and that pertain to ammunition sales.” The reason: they don’t have the technological capability to implement an ammunition sales background check system. Nor can the brainiacs in state government figure a way to maintain a registration system that would keep track of all ammo sales in the Empire State . . .

According to the Governor’s minions, there’s nothing to see here. Which is why they released word of the setback in a Friday afternoon news dump to attract as little attention as possible.

The Cuomo administration said that nothing about the SAFE Act is changing other than a recognition that an ammunition database can’t begin until the technology is developed to create it.

Gun rights supporters view the announcement pretty much as they would news of 100 state legislators at the bottom of Long Island Sound – a good start.

“It’s a good beginning,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, which is the state chapter of the National Rifle Association.

King said his group is still seeking repeal of the SAFE Act, and the group has a lawsuit pending in the courts to overturn the law.

But members of the legislature’s civilian disarmament caucus weren’t pleased.

A spokesman for State Senate Democrats blasted the Friday afternoon gun-law deal as “outrageous.” In a reference to claims made by Cuomo since the SAFE Act was passed, spokesman Mike Murphy added, “I guess we don’t have the toughest gun laws in the nation anymore.”

He says that like it’s a bad thing.

[h/t WK]


  1. avatar Bill says:

    the expression on Cuomo’s face says that he is butthurt, and can’t sit for longer than a few minutes.

  2. avatar Lurker_of_lurkiness says:

    Gun rights view it pretty much as they would news of 100 state legislators at the bottom of Long Island Sound – a good start.

    Eh Its in jest for sure, but the demanding mothers for the principle of least action with illegal mayors might use it to paint us in a bad light……….

    1. avatar Mike in OK says:

      Are you afraid that we might offend people who want to strip us of our natural rights and leave us defenseless in the face of criminals and tyrants? These people can’t possibly think any less of us, and at least for my part the feeling is mutual.

      1. avatar Lurker_of_lurkiness says:

        Not offending them is not the point, but giving them ammunition to say….

        “Extremist gun bloggers want duly elected officials who voted for common sense gun safety murdered and drowned”

        Is sort of dumb

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Well, the dumbest thing I’ve read today is your comment.

          Try to get over yourself. You’ll feel better. Believe me.

        2. avatar Ben says:

          They already believe we want to murder anyone who’s not white, Christian, straight, or male, so the line’s presence, or lack thereof, wouldn’t make a difference.

        3. avatar Stinkeye says:

          They’ll say that shit anyway, Lurker, whether we give them quotes to back it up or not.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    “Nor can they maintain a registration system that would keep track of all ammo sales in the Evil Empire State . . .”


  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “The Cuomo administration said that nothing about the SAFE Act is changing other than a recognition that an ammunition database can’t begin until the technology is developed to create it.”

    Is it possible for New Yorkers to file a federal lawsuit to force them to obey their own law?

    They made their own bed, force them to lay in it.

  5. avatar Gs650g says:

    Can’t watch CNN in the morning because the same face tries to act impartial.

  6. avatar Kendahl says:

    “I guess we don’t have the toughest gun laws in the nation anymore.”

    To bad they don’t have the toughest murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and aggravated assault laws in the nation and enforced them. That would do some good.

  7. avatar Sledgecrowbar says:

    What does this mean functionally for NY gun owners? Can they buy ammo online and have it shipped to their home now? Could they buy ammo online and have it shipped to their home since the SAFE act?

    I ask because I have to buy double the range ammo now so my brother can come down here to shoot with me and he won’t take any home with him, instead of trying to figure out what the hell is legal and what isn’t. We both are wondering because it’s ridiculous.

    He does compensate me for it, since I know someone will ask.

    1. avatar Nate says:

      Online ammo had to go through an FFL. You could buy online but you had to have shipped to an FFL for a background check. Of course you can always drive a couple of counties away to PA but then you could do that in NYS anyways. If your brother wants to buy ammo and have it shipped to your home outside of NYS he could do that.

      1. avatar Chrispy says:

        The way I understand it though, private transfer of ammunition, in any quantity, is illegal under the SAFE act. So, if while out target shooting I hand somebody one round of ammunition to try in their firearm, we have both broken the law.

        1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

          This is not true. You are allowed to buy/gift, and ship ammo privately in NYS. Even after the stupid online sales law. It only affected businesses selling ammo, not individual entities.

  8. avatar TommyG says:

    So they are finally admitting what was known two years ago. The superintendent of State Police testified in front of the Senate back in 2013 that they couldn’t build the ammo database. They been sweeping this fact under the rug ever since.

  9. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    This is not the victory your looking for. Wow, mark that on a calendar gun grabbers admitting they can’t keep a running tally. Someone previously posted a comment when the un-safe act was passed to have a retailer sell 1 cartridge at a time to clog up the system!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      ” Someone previously posted a comment when the un-safe act was passed to have a retailer sell 1 cartridge at a time to clog up the system!”

      That was probably me.

      I thought is was a California law, tho…

      I commented something to the effect of: “Bitch-slap that e-mail server” if memory serves…

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Oh, California has been at it too. The law that was enacted (and found unconstitutionally vague) required showing ID and giving a thumbprint for purchases, while the FFL had to keep ammo behind the counter and keep a record of all sales. A later version required an ammunition purchase permit, basically a state-issued ID card that required a background check to obtain, and yet had the same FFL requirements as before. Fortunately, Brown has vetoed the first such subsequent measure and told the Legislature to not send him another one. It has been quiet this year, and maybe NY’s conclusion of the impossibility of the task will convince out legislators to stop trying.

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          I remember around 30 years ago I bought a couple of boxes or 22 LR, and the clerk asked me if it was for a rifle or pistol. Can’t remember what I told him, seems like I had to sign something.
          Of course this is in Santa Clara, CA. Land of the free!

  10. And watch as New York crime rates go up do to the legal-sponsored terrorism of the NRA.

    Watch as new yorker become terrified of their lives as right-wing gun-nuts take over and turn the safe gun-control state into a Darwinian mad-max nightmare.

    The SAFE act actually caused gun-crime and other violent offenses go downs and prevent illegal private sales.

    All illegal guns started as legal.

    How do you figure, gunnuts? Are you implying that ANY regulations on the proliferation of arms is not Constitutional? If so, help me understand how passing out guns or ammo to any willing buyer like candy is a good idea.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:


      TTAG posting policy: no flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. Persistent violators will be permanently banned.


      Fact, New york has one of the very few lower homicide rates in the US due to their strict laws, The safe act actually stopped illegal gun deals and transfer.

      You gun-fascists even continue to site chicago as some gun control nightmare despite the fact it has lower rates of violent crime.

      What gun control The entire state of Illinois loosened their gun laws (yes that includes Chicago too) about 2 years ago. Concealed carry is now freely available to all Chicagoans. Guess what? Shootings have only gone up lol. So much for that “armed society is a polite society” garbage. If you want a little more enlightenment, look up the top ten gun homicide per capita states. You’ll be shocked when you see they are all gun-friendly states with loose gun laws. FYI….Chicago isn’t even in the top ten cities in America when it comes to gun homicide per capita. Yes they have a little shootings but they also have a very large population. Chicago is probably safer than texas or florida

      The NRA don’t want to address how mentally ill or felons people can buy a gun in a gun shop. They don’t want to address the gun show loophole. They want to give their children guns. They don’t believe they should have to secure their weapons to avoid accidental shootings. They don’t believe you need any training to go out and buy a gun and carry concealed. The list goes on and on.

      1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

        Please, don’t leave. You, Yee, God, Waco Biker, and Willy Tubesteak (pretty sure you’re all the same guy at this point) are the most entertaining trolls we’ve had in a long long time.

        1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

          I haven’t had this much fun reading troll comments since Mikeybnumbers stopped trolling.

      2. avatar Rick K says:

        The kool-aid runs thick in this one it does.

      3. avatar pod says:

        Do you really think the government, and it’s penny-ante laws, are going to solve your problems?

        It must be truly sad to walk out of your home, and piss yourself in fear.

      4. avatar Patrick Wider says:

        “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”
        Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1952)

      5. avatar Matt in TX says:

        stupid troll, guns are for adults.

    3. avatar JJ says:

      “The SAFE act actually caused gun-crime and other violent offenses go downs and prevent illegal private sales.”

      You have it backwards. New York saw 30% LESS of a drop in violent crime than the national mean drop since its inception.

    4. avatar JJ says:

      “All illegal guns started as legal.”

      The DOJ’s BJS show 83% of guns used in crime start out ILLEGAL from straw purchase. Another 3% start out as is one did, ALSO Illegal With FELONY perjury ON THE 4473.

      By the way are you ever going to walk back your claim that “US gun murder up’? it has plunged 60%. Why is it you everythown think it is up when it is down? What do you think your flat earth inversion of core metric means about you?

    5. avatar Davis Thompson says:

      While I find this comment fascinating in its ridiculousness, the best part comes in the last paragraph when the author deploys enough straw men to populate a small town’s worth of front porches come Halloween.

      Opposing a law which bans a certain type of rifle based on nothing but cosmetic features and strips a gun owner of the right to buy ammunition online (and see my comment below to learn how well that worked out) is not the equivalent of handing out guns like candy.

      In fact, the NRA was a central figure in getting the NICS check system passed into law.

      Nice try.

    6. avatar Mike W. says:

      Nice name by the way. The NRA wants felons to have guns? Yeah, because in American rifleman they almost always show dudes in prison garb sporting some firearms. Are you looney? Or just a troll? Perhaps both.

    7. avatar Mike in OK says:

      “Watch as new yorker become terrified of their lives”

      If I woke up one day and found that I had become a freedom hating commie I would be terrified of my life as well. In fact I’ve made out a living will that authorizes my family to put me down if that ever happens. If you haven’t yet taken tat step you should do it now.

    8. avatar DanielB says:

      Imagine every man and woman of sound mind and adult age carried a gun with them at all times. Good law abiding people outnumber scum criminals 1000 to 1. Criminal populations would plummet to near nothing in a matter of months and America would be the safest place on Earth. How is this not what all the liberals want?

  11. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Bloomberg should have put his fortune at stake. For the children

  12. avatar Daily Beatings says:

    The SAFE act will be implemented once the multi-billion dollar technology is invented, of course at taxpayer’s expense. Il duce ha sempre ragione.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Let them bankrupt themselves by attempting to enforce an unenforceable law.

  13. avatar gsnyder says:

    And so goes it. NY, WA, OR, all passing stiff gun-control but having difficult if not impossible ability to implement.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      …and that only the law-abiding will attempt to comply with anyway.

      1. avatar Mike in OK says:

        People who wold comply with those blatantly unlawful laws have gone beyond being “law-abiding.” I would call them “tyranny tolerant.”

  14. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    With the massive data breach the federal government had with 21 million people having their information stolen, I can say I sure as hell wouldn’t want my information in another database that would probably have shoddier security than the federal system. This is what those statist idiots that support registries and other crap just don’t get. You lose any semblance of privacy. Not that the gun owner haters care about that.

  15. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    Most bureaucrats would be proud to simply implement a flawed system that completely crushes people’s ability to exercise their rights as long as it functions just barely well enough to claim that it “works”…. The fact that this provision could not even clear this obscenely low hurdle (more like a ripple in the pavement) speaks volumes to just how terrible the SAFE act is.

  16. avatar anaxis says:


  17. avatar Paul53 says:

    Hey Mario! Nice going! Got anymore bright ideas?

    1. avatar Nate says:

      His dad was Mario I believe, current Governor is Andrew Cuomo. My suggestion would be for Andrew to crawl into his dad’s coffin and leave us the hell alone. Is that too soon?

  18. avatar Gary Schulze says:

    “Don’t have the technological capability”

    Liars! What special technology, that they don’t have, does it take to implement a large database? None. This is just face saving so they don’t have to admit that they don’t have the manpower or enough money to implement it. That and I never once heard an explanation of how this database was going to prevent crime or mass killers. The answer, of course, is what anyone familiar with the shooting sports knows: it can’t because buying thousands of round of ammo is normal; it means absolutely nothing special.

    It would be a total waste of money and for the first time in their lives they stopped before spending.

  19. avatar Roymond says:

    Wow — an admission that government doesn’t have divine power!

    Who knew?

  20. avatar Hannibal says:

    This is no pro-gun victory but only a recognition of reality. That proposal was doomed from the start. Given that the provision is now tossed, are out-of-state (by mail) ammo purchases legal again?

    1. avatar Ben says:

      It is certainly a pro-gun victory, a “We told you so” moment that’s one big egg on the face of the NY state legislature.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        If that’s your idea of victory then we’re all screwed (yes). The Safe act has taken away a bunch of things from NYers, I’ll wait till some of them are returned before declaring any sort of victory.

  21. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I can’t even keep track of how much ammo I have on hand, how the hell did he think he was going to track an entire state? Oh that’s right, he doesn’t think.

  22. just another data base to waste a billion on that won’t work and will be hacked by the chinese

  23. avatar Shire-man says:

    It’s definitely possible. The resources exist to track every cartridge and every registered buyer. The ammo could even be tracked in real-time 24/7.
    Sure, it would be outrageously expensive to do so. Sure, the same black-market realities that nullify every registration/prohibition scheme would render the system virtually pointless.
    But when has burning up taxpayer money for no good reason or real world intellectuality ever stopped statists?

    Lord knows these people never once stop to consider actual viability or let real common sense infect their utopic ambitions so what’s really going on here?

  24. avatar Brian says:

    While I’m obviously pleased with this development, it blows my mind that it’s OK for government to choose to ignore a law they worked so hard to pass.

  25. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    Surely they can find a third party contractor with extensive, rights-trampling, experience in building massive data bases. What about the good folks that built I bet they could use another $900,000,000 of taxpayer money.

  26. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    The ammo provisions of the SAFE Act were specifically designed to prevent stockpiling of ammunition.

    One way it did so was by making online ammo sales illegal. New Yorkers can only buy ammo online if it is shipped to an FFL who then transfers it to the buyer. (Or shipped to a friend or relative out of state.) There was supposed to be a background check for the ammo transfer, but since that was unfeasible, there’s only the transfer now.

    Since the FFL charges for the transfer, it makes sense to buy ammo in bulk so the transfer fee is spread over more individual rounds.

    Thus, it makes economic sense to buy in bulk. That is, stockpile.

    Unintended consequences strike again.

  27. avatar BLAMMO says:

    This “memo of understanding” is meaningless. Nothing can change (i.e., online sales of ammo directly to the consumer) until Articles 400.02 and 400.03 of the NYS Penal Code are repealed.

    The ammunition sales data base was never implemented because it’s a practical impossibility. All this MOU is, is an acknowledgement of what we already knew. But no change in the law.

  28. avatar Rick K says:

    Few arrests have been made from the specific stipulations of the unsafe act that were not already on the books from previous laws. Mostly just non compliant arrests from the draconian restrictions the law imposed on law-abiding citizens, but that’s about it.

    Cuomo had tried to push the implementation and recording of the ammo sale restrictions portion of the law on to the counties where he was categorically told to “go screw”!

    Typical feel good, unrealistic, ill-conceived legislation that has done nothing to aid in making anyone safer. It only pushes cuomo’s progressive agenda. But it’s for the kids…..What a putz!

  29. avatar Bdk NH says:

    So laws in NY can be ignored with an MOU? I will keep that in mind.

    On a side note. I have such a strong urge to troll the troll. Nope. It’s a beautiful day, so instead I am going to head to the range with my kids to ring some steel subsonically.

  30. avatar PY-T says:

    Still can’t have ammo shipped to you direct. Dealers get from $5.00 to $20.00 to accept the order for you. Nothing has changed as far as I can see. They won’t concede the ammo database is undoable, instead just postponed until technology catches up with their tyrannical plans.

  31. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    As a guy who used to roll code for a living, here’s the thing that these political clowns and blood-dancers never seem to understand:

    IT systems sound like magical solutions to all manner of problems… until you understand what it took to build some of them and how long it took.

    We can now point to one failed IT system after another in the last 10 years – all jobs where some IT system was supposed to come into being as a result of legislative fiat, but which were found to cost far more than planned to implement, take much longer to deliver and in the end, were too costly or too complicated to implement.

    Obamacare’s exchanges at the state level are some excellent examples. Oregon spend about $300 mil on theirs, and shut it down without registering anyone.

    The Canadian long gun registry is another example. The Canadian government poured money and time into that silly project for years, and finally decided to stop the insanity and save some money.

    The NICS project is showing signs of breakdowns and problems. It seems that I’m getting a note from the FBI every couple of weeks now about NICS outages, upgrades, software change-overs, etc that are causing system downtime.

    The central problem with all of these systems is this: IT systems take time and talent to design, implement and field. Much of the industry that interacts with government doesn’t have much in the way of talent – and why would it? There’s so little money in it for the guys slinging the code. The other problem is that government policy makers think that more money and more bodies will result in faster delivery times. It never does. Nine women cannot make one baby in one month. There are some things in life where you just have to wait for the people with the clue to execute the work schedule, and lots of things in software and computer systems are exactly that way.

  32. avatar Bill Hollingsworth says:

    What a looser is Andrew Cuomo. He is corrupt and would be no where without the big labor unions of mob run NY. What a jerk! Vote him OUT!! He Sucks!!

  33. avatar Bill Hollingsworth says:

    Hey Jerk!, In Chicago, the recent protesting and looting are due to the black uprisings in that area. The shootings are all non registered guns. Not one permit holding gun owner has been involved in any shootings.

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