CAPITAL DISTRICT With tighter restrictions on guns setting in under the state’s SAFE Act, businesspeople who deal in firearms are also dealing with the new normal in New York.
That includes estate dealer Randy Passonno, who oftentimes finds himself handling auctions that contain firearms and ammunition. The SAFE Act, however, restricts the sale of assault weapons, magazines and ammunition.
“We have no choice unfortunately (but) to abide by those regulations,” said Passonno, who owns Collar City Auctions and Management, Inc., in Delanson. “(I’m) disgusted with the ways that the laws are being implemented within our state.”
Passonno said gun sales have been a significant part of his auctions during his 27 years of business. Recently, Collar City held an online-only auction from Feb. 9 to Feb. 23 that included more than 150 military and collector long arms and handguns, several of them are restricted under the new law.
Although the sale was successful, Passonno said not only did he have to turn down bidders residing in New York state for many of the items, but he also had to reduce prices significantly as a result. An AR-15, one weapon specifically targeted in the SAFE Act, only sold for $875 when it normally would sell for $1,400. He said all of the restricted firearms pricing dropped.
“It impacts our business significantly with the amount of revenue that could be generated on a regular basis that we are no longer permitted to sell,” Passonno said. “We sell pretty much anything and everything under the sun. The firearms aspect of it is a large part of the services we offer.”
Passonno said Collar City would continue to sell restricted firearms, just not to anyone in New York. Out-of-state bidders will become their source of income and the company is changing its marketing strategy to attract that business.