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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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Congressman Chris Collins and Senator Rob Ortt Help Reopen the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range

Oct 26, 2016
Press Release
Assist owner cut through red tape at the Federal and State level to reopen a Niagara County Small Business

Congressman Chris Collins, after touring the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range today, released the following statement on his office’s ability to work with residents of New York’s 27th Congressional District to resolve a variety of issues pertaining to Federal agencies. The Buffalo Niagara Gun Range was recently purchased by Thomas Kulwicki, owner of Alessi Holsters, a small gun holster manufacturer located in Cheektowaga. Congressman Collins’ office worked with Mr. Kulwicki to ensure he was able to secure a Federal Firearm License (FFL) and a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan before purchasing the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range.

“One of the most important and rewarding functions of my congressional office is helping my constituents resolve issues with federal agencies,” said Congressman Collins. “In this case, we were able to help Tom purchase the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range and expand his small business to a new and larger location in a timely fashion. I’d like to thank Tom for his contribution to our local economy and his continued support of the Second Amendment.”

“This collaboration is great news for Niagara County and the Western New York sportsmen community,” said New York State Senator Rob Ortt (R, C, I-62nd District). “The quick actions taken by Congressman Collins and his casework team to help Mr. Kulwicki’s manufacturing business relocate to Niagara County are admirable. The small, but unique business is an asset to our community and is significant to the economic viability of out county and region. We’re excited to see what the future holds for the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range.”

In April, Mr. Kulwicki reached out to Congressman Collins’ office for assistance with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Mr. Kulwicki was required to submit a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to the ATF and work with the local field office in Buffalo to schedule an onsite qualification inspection of the proposed business premises—the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range. After the FFL application was approved and the onsite qualification inspection was conducted, a final approval of an SBA loan for purchase of a new business was necessary before Mr. Kulwicki’s bank transferred from First Niagara to Key Bank.

Both issues were resolved after Congressman Collins’ casework staff submitted two separate congressional inquiries to the SBA and ATF, respectively. Throughout the process, Mr. Kulwicki worked closely with the assigned caseworker to ensure that both inquiries were given the proper attention, were thoroughly reviewed, and were issued a final determination prior to the bank transfer deadline. If Mr. Kulwicki was unable to receive a Federal Firearms License and secure this SBA loan funding prior to his bank transfer, he would have been required to start the process from the beginning, and the purchase of the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range would have been voided.

“Without the help and support of Congressman Collins and Senator Ortt, I would not have been able to purchase the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range,” said Thomas Kulwicki, owner of the Buffalo Niagara Gun Range and Alessi Holsters. “Both of their offices are extremely professional and they all worked tirelessly on my behalf to make sure I had all of the assistance I needed. Because of their offices’ efforts, I was able to expand my small business into Niagara County and now I can look forward to hiring a number of new employees.”

For pictures of today’s event, please visit Congressman Collins’ Flickr album.

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any resident of New York’s 27th Congressional District with casework related to all federal matters, including Social Security benefits and Medicare, as well as interacting with federal agencies, including the Veterans’ and Small Business Administration.