Fighting against unconstitutional gun laws in New York State is always an uphill battle, but it would appear some progress in the Gazzola v. Hochul case is being made.
The law that requires ammunition background checks for all ammunition purchases in New York State is receiving great resistance. In addition to New York State forcing ammunition purchasers to hand over their personal information to the New York State Police Department, which is now in charge of overseeing the new background check process, the State of New York has also decided to take all firearm purchase background checks “in house.” That means background checks for firearm purchases that would typically go through the Federal government are now being done by the New York State Police Department. Under the current NICS background check process, protections against gun owners being placed on a gun registry are in place. New York State will be bypassing that system. There is a growing fear that New York State will use gun owners’ private information and create a gun registry to harass gun owners or confiscate New York firearms in the future. That is one of the things the plaintiffs in the Gazzola v. Hochul case are trying to prevent.
Since the new law went into effect on September 13, 2023, the entire background check system for firearm and ammo purchases in New York State has been a complete disaster. Aside from the $9 firearm background check fee and the $2.50 ammo background check fee, FFLs and gun purchasers have reported waiting periods of up to nine hours for a simple ammunition purchase approval. Firearm dealers have reported plummeting sales because people are hesitant to give their private information to the New York State police Department. Prior to the law going into effect, plaintiffs filed an Emergency Motion to halt the process.
On September 8, 2023, plaintiffs’ Attorney, Paloma A. Capanna announced that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a “DENIED” order to the Emergency Motion filed on August 29, 2023.
The denial allowed for an emergency application to be filed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
An Emergency Motion to stop this law from going into effect was then filed to the Supreme Court to be seen by Justice Sotomayor, the 2nd Circuit Presiding Justice. Sotomayer quickly denied the motion without presenting it to the entire court for discussion.
On September 11, 2023, the motion was “renewed” to Justice Thomas, the judge selected by Plaintiffs under Supreme Court Rule 22.4, in the hopes of Justice Thomas granting a stay on the original injunction.
While waiting for an answer, on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 11:59 p.m., the FBI-NICS Unit disconnected NY-based Federal Firearms Licensees (“FFLs”) which had been a direct ATF/FBI/FFL connection since November 1998 when the Brady Act NICS background check system went live.
Attorney Paloma A. Capanna said, “When we first applied to SCOTUS in January 2023, perhaps what we described could not be imagined. After all, this is America and our federal, state, and local governments do not build gun-owner registries. Now that the NY Governor and her State Police have shown their hand, we can only pray SCOTUS takes up our case and take swift action to put a stop to the entire scheme.”
Without a stay, NYS Gov. Kathleen Hochul took the whole thing over, inserting the NYS Police as the contact point for the FFLs, and launching the ammunition background check system plus an antique firearms background check system. As if that wasn’t enough, each full data entry application question, including Social Security Number was used as a mandatory field in the background check application process; the potential building blocks for the first gun owners’ registry in the history of this Country.
Gazzola v. Hochul has advanced to be distributed for SCOTUS to consider in conference on Friday, October 6, 2023.
Dan Wos is a National 2nd Amendment Advocate and Author of the “Good Gun Bad Guy” – book series. He is a contributing writer for several publications. Dan can be found on radio stations across the Country speaking on the topics of gun rights, firearm legislation and exposing the strategies of the anti-gun crowd. Dan is also the Host of “The Loaded Mic” and has been a guest on Newsmax, the Sean Hannity Show, OAN, Real America’s Voice, and many others.