Background checks for ammo purchases bad news for St. Lawrence County gun shops – Local gun shop owners say new state-mandated ammunition background checks will hurt business, but just how much damage they will cause is hard to guess.  That’s because the state has failed to reveal how or when the proposal will be implemented.  Joe Russell owns Hilltop Hunting, a gun shop in Canton that has operated for 34 years. He says the entire SAFE Act is frustrating and detrimental to his business, but the background checks for bullets are among the worst of its provisions.