Will you have to pay more for private gun sales?

Posted at: 03/31/2013 7:14 PM
Updated at: 03/31/2013 11:25 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Provisions of the New York SAFE Act went into effect two weeks ago. One provision in particular is causing issues for local gun owners who are looking to sell their guns.

The provision requires licensed gun dealers to perform background checks for private sales between two people. 
News10NBC found that some gun shops are charging up to $75 for the checks, when the new gun law says they are only supposed to charge $10.

News10NBC wanted to know if it was legal for them to charge that much.

It turns out gun shop owners can charge you more than $10 for the private sale because background checks for private sales are voluntary.

A spokesperson from Governor Cuomo's office released this statement:

“The law is clear that dealers can voluntarily offer for private sales the same check that they already run for all retail firearm sales, and charge up to $10. We believe responsible dealers will provide this service because responsible gun dealers and owners know how important it is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

News10NBC called around to several gun shops in the area and found that most of the shops are for background checks, but not for the $10 charge.

Two shops are charging $35 and one was charging up to $75 for long guns. But the majority are refusing to do any private sales at all.

When Michael Beinetti tried to sell his gun to a private owner, he ran into a problem.

“As gun owners you know people buying and selling in the private market. We should still be able to do so without having to be handicapped by additional fees and funds that we don't have,” said  Beinetti.

“These are all of the forms that have to be filled out to do a background check,” said Fred Kalkagno, owner of American Sportsman. “It's voluntary, but anyone who does it is out of their mind.”

Kalkagno is one of many gun shop owners refusing to do any private sales. He says it's just not worth it.

“I have to let all these people sit here and wait. I have to take care of two people. I have to take at least a half an hour to fill out six different forms. I have to book into my bound book. I have to provide a lock for the customer. I have to provide a background check. I have to maintain that forever and I have to do that for the whopping sum of $10,” said Kalkagno.

Kalkagno says he has turned away a lot of customers inquiring about private sales. Some gun owners say they understand the decision.

“It takes money out of their pockets. It takes time. It's labor, intensive work to do all the paper work,” said Beinetti.

News10NBC asked Beinetti if he was going to bite the bullet and pay the fee for the private gun sale.

“I have to. At this point, I'm going to pay $35,” he said.

Kalkagno says he refuses to charge his customers extra. He says it would be an insult to his customers.

So if you're trying to sell your gun to a friend or an interested gun owner, it looks like it's going to be a little difficult to find a place that will do the private sale, or you'll have to cough up the money.