Attorney: Ammo law OK

Albany County Attorney Craig Denning gave his opinion this week that Local Law A, a bill introduced by Albany County Legislator Phil Steck, D-Colonie, is constitutional and not in violation of state laws regarding the regulation of ammunition.

Local Law A, Steck said, seeks to regulate the sale of ammunition by requiring those purchasing the ammunition to show proof of identification or their pistol permit upon purchase.

Handgun owners would have to show their permit, whereas, Steck said, there is some ammunition that is used in handguns and non-handguns, therefore someone who wishes to purchase such ammunition who does not have a pistol permit would be required to show proof of identification and state what purpose they intend to use the ammunition.

The current state law asks that gun dealers only sell ammunition to licensed gun owners, Steck said, but his law would take it a step further, asking licensed gun owners to prove their licensing with identification.

Local Law A also requires that information be recorded in some sort of a log, whether it be hand written or electronic.

According to Steck, Denning's opinion was not a surprise.

I wasn't expecting anything different, Steck said. "I knew it was constitutional when I proposed it. This is consistent with the gun control laws."

Steck said the county's law committee sought the opinion of Denning seeing as the law touches on a hot-button issue.

"The County Legislature is a body that generally likes to avoid controversy," Steck said, explaining that Local Law A has received a lot of criticism across the aisle from Republican legislators who say the law is antagonistic to hunters and infringes upon people's rights.

"So, the fact is that if the law were to be illegal, some folks would be happy," Steck said.

Albany County Legislator Richard Mendick, C-Selkirk, said he thinks the idea of the law is good, but that, if passed by the Legislature, it will be ineffective toward curbing gun violence.

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