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By Matt Manda

It’s only been two weeks since New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s expanded gun restriction laws took effect. The impacts have been immediate. Concealed carry permit holdersrecreational target shooters, hunters, even historical battlefield reenactment groups, have all cried foul amidst the confusion and intrusion.

The Hochul administration is frantically responding to criticisms, trying to settle nerves from law-abiding New Yorkers but it isn’t working.

One impact may not be realized until next year. Conservation dollars could suffer a blow because of Gov. Hochul’s gun control laws – specifically her new statewide ammunition registry scheme. Laws that chill Second Amendment rights have impacts beyond their gun control agenda. Those laws could have potential impacts on how conservation efforts are funded – even those in New York.

From 100 to Zero

Gov. Hochul’s new gun law includes greatly expanding the list of “sensitive areas” where concealed carry permit holders can carry guns. It mandates permit applicants’ social media accounts to be “examined for suspicious activity.” It creates a statewide registry to collect and maintain a database of who is buying ammunition. It’s having a chilling effect.

(Office of the Governor of New York via AP)

“It’s safe to say my ammunition sales are down 30 percent since the law started [on Sept. 1],” explained Jane Havens, owner of Calamity Jane’s Firearms in Hudson Falls, N.Y. “One of my distributor reps told me he’s not shipping ammo to hardly any New York dealers. ‘I won’t be buying ammo in September. Call me in October,’” he told her. “In seven business days, we’ve gone from 100 mph to zero. The agencies aren’t up to speed and don’t know what to tell us [about the law]. That’s costs us sales.”

New York state receives significant federal funds each year for wildlife management and conservation projects thanks to the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on firearms and ammunition – paid by the firearm and ammunition manufacturers. That has totaled more than $15 billion for conservation since 1937.

For ammunition and long guns like shotguns and rifles, it’s 11 percent. On handguns, the tax is 10 percent. In 2018, the Empire State received $28 million. In Fiscal Year 2020, the total was $23.9 million, according to Department of the Interior (DOI) figures. Last year, funding back to New York totaled more than $30 million dollars.

gun store buying surge
(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The upward trend makes sense due to more than 1 million New Yorkers purchasing firearms over the past two years – and all those new gun owners need ammunition for practice, training and recreational shooting. Given the outsized amount of ammunition needed by law-abiding gun owners, a reduction in ammunition purchases predicts declines in conservation dollars coming back to the state.

‘My Store Should Be Packed’

Pittman-Robertson excise tax apportionments to the states are based on geography and the number of hunting licenses sold. Gov. Hochul’s new gun control laws are already suppressing ammunition sales and appear to be withering away hunting licenses too.

Gov. Hochul’s misguided gun law went into effect the first day of most of New York’s hunting seasons; including black bear, deer, wild turkey, waterfowl and more.

One firearm retailer located in Saratoga County, N.Y., immediately felt the law’s impact as hunting season officially started. “It’s now hunting season and my store should be packed,” the retailer told me, wishing to stay anonymous. “I sold 10 guns on the Saturday before September 1st. Now I’ve only sold two guns all week. No one’s buying ammo because of the registry. It’s dead in here as people don’t know what to do.”

gun store rifles shotguns long guns
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

The retailer had one more reason for the lack of business. “We’re one county away from Vermont. That’s where they’re going – our dollars are driving over to them instead.”

If the same chilling effect that’s happening to gun and ammunition sales is to be repeated for hunting license sales, that would directly eat into conservation efforts funded by Pittman-Robertson excise taxes.

Crickets from Environmentalists

New York is home to several state and national parks that benefit from the millions of dollars of conservation funding, supported by outdoorsmen and women. That includes the more than 6 million-acre Adirondack Park north of Albany, comprising almost one-third of New York’s geography.

Numerous environmental and conservation groups advocate for healthy wildlife and robust conservation efforts in the park, but few have said a word about the devastating effects Gov. Hochul’s gun restrictions will have on them – specifically the ammunition registry.

tree hugger environmentalist

The Adirondack Council is the largest of the groups. They praised the governor when she assumed office, saying only, “Lt. Gov. Hochul has shown a strong interest in Adirondack Park wilderness protection, clean water, and community development.” It was total silence from the group on the impacts Gov. Hochul’s gun law will have on their efforts.

State legislators are already trying to right Gov. Hochul’s ammunition missteps. Republican state Sen. Dan Stec said, “We’re already seeing an immediate, massive reduction in these ammo sales. Practice and trap ammunition purchases are a significant source of revenue for local retailers and play a large part in funding our environmental conservation efforts. A decrease in ammunition sales means a decrease in funds. By criminalizing and monitoring ammo purchases, Democratic legislators haven’t only infringed on our Second Amendment rights; they’ve put the health and well-being of our natural environment at risk.”

Republican New York Assemblyman Matt Simpson criticized the ammunition registry too. “Governor Hochul’s disastrous new gun law will accomplish little other than driving more business and much-needed revenue to neighboring states.”

Jane Havens summed up the contradictory silence from the New York environmental groups who have done nothing to oppose or correct Gov. Hochul’s harmful law. “They don’t realize it. They are going to see the consequences,” Havens said. “These groups don’t put their money where their mouth is. And the gun industry does.”

Time will tell what the funding consequences will be for New York’s conservation efforts. Gov. Hochul’s ammunition registry won’t solve crimes or hold criminals accountable, but it will hurt efforts to keep the state’s wildlife and conservation projects growing and going strong.


Matt Manda is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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  1. Since recreational marijuana will soon be made legal in the state of New York. Why not just divert some of the funds raised to pay for conservation??? Seems like a win-win to me. The legal recreational marijuana business really has become big ($$$) business.

    • Cartels will ultimately start “policing” legal marijuana businesses and get control of them. Like they do in Mexico…..once your customers get mowed down, people will avoid your store until it has joined the Corporation.

      • But we were to told by the smartest people in the drug legalization crowd, that “all the crime would go away”. When pot was made legal.

  2. “Laws that chill Second Amendment rights” include these taxes you tout with pride.

    Would you be cool with taxes targeting rabbis and imams?

    “Hurr, durr, but think of all the benefits they provide to gun-hating animal worshippers!”

  3. Specifically, what is this ammo registry? I’ve looked a little, definitely not a lot. I don’t understand what they’re doing in NY. Do they keep track if you buy 1 box, 10 boxes, a case?

    • Know one knows for sure as it’s not set up yet . In a nutshell every ammo purchase will require name address , occupation of buyer, type and amount off ammo purchased to be recorded , along with some sort of background check on buyer .

      Currently there’s no check system in place , but some stores are taking the info . Also most stores have moved ammo to where customers can’t handle it per the law .

      I bought some at a shop that only sells to military and first responders, they now have the ammo behind a counter and a guy gets it for you , along with my work Id I had to give them my drivers license for the other info . Online dealers aren’t shipping to us at all now either .

      Stores don’t know what to do , some changed nothing , some stopped selling it others rope it off and get it for you…

        • “What a nightmare”

          What an opportunity.

          There were no ammo background checks at the founding of this nation, let the lawsuits fly and stamp that crap out.

          Hell, private homes manufactured ammunition back then!

  4. Any new gun or ammo law will cause panic among the Far Right who are largely full blown paranoid’s and totally ignorant of the new laws and how they work.

    After things settle down the ammo sales of course will return to normal. Remember the original 68′ gun control act took down your name when you bought ammo even .22 rimfire ammo and after people got used to it they went right on buying ammo. People who are not paranoids ,crooks and nut cases will not worry about the new law.

    • You dumbass, neither Hochul nor her witch’s coven understand how the law works. It’s not meant to work. It’s meant to deprive people of their rights.

    • Not really many places that sold ammo as a side line like hardware stores have stopped selling it all together ,as the record keeping , storage and labor requirements have become to much .

      One large outdoor store in Buffalo roped off the ammo , so instead of several customers roaming the aisles looking , they stand in a line and wait as one employee hunts for ammo one guy at a time . Then it’s off to girl number one who records your info, plus manufacturer, caliber , amount and lot number, those numbers are quite long and one per box… after that it’s on to girl number two who checks you out .

      That’s three employees just dedicated to ammo purchases, records the store keeps for life and a whole lot of time. Can’t wait till the nics like check is set up that should only add what another 10-15 minutes to buying a box of ammo ?

    • If you had been alive then dacian you would have known that everybody, right and left, acknowledged that the ammo recording was a complete waste of time and resources. It was dropped.

      Only lately has the fascist left brought this same retarded do nothing scheme back to life. It’s only purpose is to violate the civil rights of American citizens,

      So naturally, a fascist such as yourself sees it as a boon.

      • Remember when they claimed a spent shell casing on file (from each handgun sold) was going to allow them to solve gun related crimes?

        Yeah, so do I. I also remember all those collected casings didn’t result in a SINGLE gun crime solved. 🤪

        Fun fact, several file cabinet rooms used to store the casings and related paperwork had floors that collapsed from the weight. 🤣

        Leftards are stupid like that.

      • to Jethro W.M.
        quote————-If you had been alive then dacian you would have known that everybody, right and left, acknowledged that the ammo recording was a complete waste of time and resources. It was dropped.———quote

        Your reading comprehension is on the level of a retarded toad. The point being made was that this new law is nothing but a rehash of an old one back in 68′ but today the law is more necessary than ever to flag nut cases that come in an buy cases of ammo all in one day. That is when the ATF should flag these people and find up what they are up to. Maybe planning another Jan 6th or mass murder like the nut case did in Uvalde after buying a ton of ammo and two AR 15’s all in one day. Again it should have been flagged. But that is way over the head of a retarded toad.

        And Jethro Toad if I had “not” been alive and buying ammo back then do you think today I would even have known about it? You really are one of the most retarded toads on this forum.

        • Look, fascist boy. I know you were not around then jerry p. of Canton Ohio. The law was not needed then and it is not needed now.

          What guns and ammo were involved in Jan. 6? And why do you feel the .gov has a right to investigate a person just using their civil rights?

          Oh, that’s right, fascist.

        • “…today the law is more necessary than ever to flag nut cases that come in an buy cases of ammo all in one day. That is when the ATF should flag these people and find up what they are up to.”

          I assume you are also a big fan of “Minority Report” as well. Remember, then, that in the movie, the system was proven to be flawed.

          This, too, shall pass if the voters of NYS have any sense beyond what their government feeds them. THAT remains to be seen.

        • dacian, the Dunderhead, It seems that your fascist side is showing. You see we have this thing called the Constitution. IN that Constitution there is a section called the 2nd Amendment. We all know you despise the Constitution and especially the 2nd Amendment. IN that 2nd Amendment is says “shall not be infringed”. Is this phrase alien to you? If I want to purchase ammunition what business is it of the government?

    • Hardest part is sourcing primers lately. May need to look into lead casting eventually but powders are slowly coming back. May pick up a CT permit as VT and NH are going to get picked clean soon.

  5. Could gun rights organizations suing to overturn the NY laws seek – in their claims – an injunction ordering the Federal government to withhold P-R distributions?

    I take it that it is difficult to sue for damages – e.g., $1 or $1,000 or $1 million in a civil rights case (such as for infringing on the 2A right). However, it might be possible (the lawyers have to tell us) to inflict a penalty on a state by denying their pro-rata share of P-R distributions for some period of time. A year? 5 or 10 years?

    If a state suffers no penalty whatsoever in denying a civil right, then there is no disincentive for doing so. Conversely, if some penalty might be imposed the state has to decide to risk that penalty for a mere temporary showing that they are tough on gun-control.

  6. Jesus is coming soon, and he is bringing pizza for everybody!! Even for the gluten-free folk. But none for the anti-Constitution, freedom-crushing, hate-filled, Satanic, crime-worshiping leftist insurrectionists currently running so much of our planet.

    Extra cheese and pepperoni!!

  7. “State legislators are already trying to right Gov. Hochul’s ammunition missteps.”

    that’s not how this works… the goblin occupying the governor’s office signed legislation that the state legislature passed. THEY voted on it.

    Now, I’m sure some of them don’t like the law but it is not only incorrect but unhelpful to act as though this is the governor’s doing. This is a problem at all levels of state government and if she is thrown out of office, the laws aren’t going away.

    • They aren’t trying to “right” anything. They’re fund-raising off their own defeat. Elected NY Republicans are a sad bunch. I would pity them if I didn’t hold them in such contempt. Then again, it’s hard to know what they should do differently in a state run by Skeletor, the Joker, and Cobra-Kai.

      • napresto, just what would you like the Republicans to do? They are in a decidedly small majority. Short of crying, that is not really much they can do.
        The press won’t publish the DEMONcRAT agenda and how they are accomplishing it. So what is your solution?

  8. There is absolutely no point in ineffectual criticism Either New Yorks action are LEGAL or they are ILLEGAL. If they are perceived as illegal by interesred parties then they can and shnould be challenged in court by due process. Therein lays a problem. Any court case will inevitable focus the Publics attention and, as they say, any publicity is good publicity and it will at least make people THINK which may not be a good idea for those that treat firearms as if the they are Religious relics.
    The greatest enemy of extremism is said to, be LAUGHTER and some of the utter tosh the pro-gun lobby come out with would make a saint laugh.

    • Your side believes guns are inhabited by evil spirits. They make people go on crime sprees or some such.

      And it will be challenged. Every time your side tries this bs it sells another million guns. We should be greatfull I suppose.

    • “…Either New Yorks action are LEGAL or they are ILLEGAL…”

      Probably little question how SCOTUS will eventually rule on this matter should it get to them. The real tragedy is how much real money will have to be fed to the bottom feeders out of honest citizen’s pockets just to reassert their God-given rights as recognized by OUR Constitution.

      One other issue, Albert: I’ve always believed that over the past 20 years or so, our American public schools have turned out some of the worst spellers, grammarians and purveyors of punctuation in the entire western world. However, upon reading your many offerings, I am starting to re-think things a bit.

    • “There is absolutely no point in ineffectual criticism”

      So, stop posting your idiocy here, wanker. And, it is abundantly clear that Hochul and her New York legislature are blatantly violating the law. They are proud to announce that they were going to intentionally violate the Supreme Court ruling.

      Can you get any stupider?

      • Albert L J “Wanker” Hall. IT seems that you agree then that NYS is in CONTEMPT OF THE US SUPREME COURT. Do you also agree that those in CONTEMPT should be heavily fined for violation the US Constitution with INTENT?

    • AAlbert L J “Wanker” Hall, If you bothered to pay any attention there are a number of law suits now pending before the Federal Court here in NY.

  9. That is just like a DEMONcRAT. Shoot yourself in the foot. They do it every single time. We ought to ban together and sue these people for Contempt of the US Supreme Court in RE: the Bruen decision.

  10. This all went before a judge who it seems was going to,issue a stay or whatever they call it . But He dismissed the case on two grounds, one the plaintiff brought the case before the law took effect, so he was not yet “ harmed “ by it and two they named The wrong defendant.

    Our side isn’t always on the ball , but little of our new laws will stand constitutional muster , given time . Oh and the ammo thing is the smallest of new laws that we now face . The permit process which took six months to a year ,has gotten much harder …. 16 hours of training then two hours of live fire , passing score on each is 80% ( previously zero training ) Turn over all social media accounts, interview with judge ( who currently doesn’t even have time to read and sign application) . That just for starters .

    • Larry, that was a rather STUPID decision of the judge, don’t you think? I have reason to believe that the judge erred on both counts. 1st, he erred because the plaintiff was filing to prevent the law form harming him. That is what an INJUNCTION is for? Second, it was filed against the person who was charged with filing that law. Again, an error in judgement by this “judge” .Sounds to me like he was just looking to make things difficult for the plaintiff.

  11. Surprised at this Gun Control Stupidity effecting conservation. You shouldn’t be. Just remember who it is that is being harassed. The law abiding citizen and only the law abiding person. I was a competitive shooter, mostly rifles, hunting simply didn’t interest me, though I used to spend spend the few dollars that a PA. Hunting License cost. I felt the small amount of money it cost me was a worth while expenditure. Then, one year, on going to my local gun shop to buy a new hunting license, I noticed that one’s Social Security Number was suddenly required. No hunting license was purchased that year, nor has one been purchased since. Screw the bureaucrats. I expect New Yorkers, once upon a time I was one, might feel similarly. To hell with Cathy and Co.

  12. New Yorkers who voted for the recently past and present governors, let’s not forget the state legislature might take note. Elections have consequences, some of which have become painfully apparent. For myself, my home town was NYC. I removed myself therefrom in 1967, never to return.

  13. How about impeachment of the governor. By the way, does New York State have recall of elected things. I don’t recall.

  14. Going to Vermont.,, …
    Oh New York gotta stop that.
    Any emu nition in New York must be head stamped with a New York identification number and if your caught using emu not so stamped in New York it’s an automatic life +40 prison sentence. Same with the gunms.
    And if the Gunmshops are going broke because they cant sale gunm stuff in the United States of America then can always move to Saudi Arabia.
    Let Freedom Ring.

  15. I think it would be funny as hell if all of a sudden, the conservation groups woke up one day, and realized not only are they broke, but shutting down. All because they thought it was a great idea to drive the ammo business to a nearby state. Sounds like a classic case of biting the hand that feeds them.

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