Data obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau from State Police showed that approved handgun applications in New York counties nearly doubled during the last year, from 1,280 in January 2012 to 2,401 in November 2012.
Suffolk County, the state’s largest county outside the city, led the state in permits issued at 1,635. Erie County was second at 1,113 permits, followed by Orange in 1,018 and Monroe in 1,056. Westchester County had 793 permits issued in 2012, State Police records showed.
Gun shops across New York voiced concern today about the gun-control measures set for passage by the state Legislature, saying it would restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
There were reports today of long lines outside gun stores with customers seeking to make purchases before the new law takes effect. Major provisions of the law would take effect immediately after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs it, expected later today.
The new gun laws would require universal background checks for all gun sales, including private sales outside of gun shops. Cuomo also included a “Webster provision,” which would enforce a life without parole sentence for anyone who murders a first responder. Two first responders were fatally shot in Webster, Monroe County, on Christmas Eve.
“I would say about 99.9 percent of people who are purchasing firearms are sane, legal people,” said Dave Kielon, owner of Kielon Gunsmiths in Webster. “We have a very low rejection rate of people who have background checks performed here.”
Customers were also expressing concern about the new law because they are worried it will affect their gun rights, store owners said. Store owners could face fines and criminal charges if they violate the new law.
“As far as regular dealers selling guns to regular people, they didn’t have to put any more laws on the table,” said Frank Kushner, owner of FMK Karate in Binghamton. “If anything, it makes people want to get more than they had before because they are scared that they are losing their rights.”