gun store
Two people posing inside a gun store looking totally natural. Credit: NSSF

Court Upholds New York’s Background Checks for Ammo

The judge denied to block the law as a lawsuit makes its way through the court.

A federal judge last week denied a request to block a New York state law requiring that patrons pass a background check before buying ammunition. In a 20-page decision, U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci denied arguments that parts of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act violated the Second Amendment.

Geraci, who was appointed to the bench in 2012 by President Obama, wrote that the plaintiffs — the New York State Firearms Association — did not show that the law was unsupported by the country's history of gun regulations, which he called "a requirement for success on the merits of their constitutional challenge."

The judge said that he denied the preliminary injunction because the organization did not show that it was likely to "succeed on the merits of their Constitutional challenge" nor had it shown "irreparable harm or the balance of interests."

The 2023 lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of background checks for buying ammo by arguing that the Second Amendment does not cover ammunition. However, the judge reasoned that because the Second Amendment covers firearms and firearms are inoperable without ammunition, ammunition is therefore covered. And he added that under the Second Amendment, background checks are permitted.

In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that the court's decision to defend the CCIA will "help the residents of this state live free from gun violence." She called the measure "commonsense."