Guns and Gear

New York Gun Store To Close, Owner Blames Restrictive Gun Laws

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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A New York gun dealer says he will shut down two stores he operates near Rochester and move to North Carolina because of onerous regulations on the sale of firearms and ammunition.

“The SAFE Act killed us in terms of business,” Kordell Jackson, who owns Jackson Guns and Ammo, told the Democrat & Chronicle.

“It was very difficult with sales and regulations with transferring and obtaining firearms, so I decided to close up,” Jackson said.

The SAFE Act, which was signed into law in 2013 in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., is considered one of the toughest gun laws in the nation. It prohibits the sale of magazines that contain more than 10 rounds and puts strict limitations on features that can be attached to semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15. It also requires ammunition dealers to perform background checks on the sale of ammunition similar to those performed during firearms transactions and outlaws all private firearms transactions.

“We’ve talked to a lot of customers, and everybody is very upset about the fact that we’re closing,” Jackson said. “This was not an easy decision, but they have to understand that with the new regulations, it’s impossible to survive.”

Jackson said he plans to move to North Carolina, which has less restrictive gun laws, by the end of the year.

Jackson is not the only gun and ammunition dealer in the Empire State to struggle with the SAFE Act. Other dealers have cited the burdensome law as rationale for shutting down and, in some cases, moving to other parts of the country.

“The SAFE Act was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Ryan Farnung, a manager at Beikirch Ammunition in East Rochester, told the Chronicle & Democrat, explaining why the company recently opened two stores in northern Pennsylvania.

“Sales dropped off almost entirely in 2013, and 2014 wasn’t a great year either,” he said.

Firearm and ammunition manufacturers are also reportedly feeling the brunt of the statute.

Remington Outdoor Company, which was founded in Ilion, N.Y. in 1816, shifted production of some firearms outlawed under the SAFE Act to its factory in Huntsville, Alabama.

Industry watchers believe that Remington, the oldest continually operating firearms and ammunition maker in the U.S., will eventually leave New York altogether.

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