The New York State Police are being tight lipped about the uneven implementation of background checks for ammunition purchases in New York, which has been in effect for four months.
A spokesperson for the organization declined to answer specific questions about fees collected, the time to process checks, or the use of private companies to conduct background checks. The State Police are promising to eventually release some statistical data in a report.
State Sen. Jake Ashby, a Capital Region Republican, joined The Capitol Pressroom this week to talk about the bumpy rollout of the background checks and the lack of transparency surrounding the program, which is overseen by the State Police.
The full conversation is available below.
There have been anecdotal reports of New Yorkers waiting days to purchase ammunition, pistol permit holders failing background checks to buy ammunition, and fees for background checks being imposed multiple times.
Ashby, who voted against legislation requiring the background checks, argues that the delays in the system were foreseeable. “The answer to that is not to try to fine tune this. The answer to this is just to stop,” he said.
Asked about efforts to improve the process, the State Police – who declined to sit for an interview – wrote, “The New York State Police continues to update the NYS NICS system in order to provide an accurate and timely response. This has included an automated phone system to assist and accommodate individuals (1-877-NYS-NICS). As a reminder, while some transactions are processed immediately, others require more research.”
In December, three months after the background check requirement took effect, Tyler Technologies announced they would be aiding the state on the implementation of the system. A spokesperson for the State Police declined to explain what Tyler Technologies is doing, saying they do “not discuss strategies or operations as it puts our members and the public at risk.”