Could a New Federal Law Put WNY Jobs at Risk?

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 6:25 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 6:25 PM EDT

Irving, NY (WKBW)- The Seneca Nation of Indians say a new federal law has put 140 local mail order businesses in serious jeopardy, along with thousands of jobs. The new law, called the PACT Act or Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act, bans the shipment of cigarettes through the United States Postal Service. Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder has called the law unconstitutional, and Tribal Councillor J.C. Seneca says many mail order businesses on the Cattaraugus Indian Territory have been forced to close up and layoff their employees. Officials fear it could have a major economic impact since the territory employs thousands of Native and Non-Native Americans.

"We have 140 business that are not operating and struggling to find a way to do business," said Seneca. "Their employees will be laid off, if they aren't already, and it's a tough situation to deal with."

The Seneca Fair Trade Association, representing those 140 mail-order businesses, has filed papers in federal court to try and get the law overturned.