State Sen. Joseph Griffo of Rome has joined his colleagues in the Assembly in asking that Gov. Andrew Cuomo grant an extension to pistol permit holders attempting to recertify.
New York pistol permit holders whose permits were issued before Jan. 15, 2013 must recertify their permits by Jan. 31. If your permit was issued on or after Jan. 15, 2013, the deadline to recertify the permit is five years after the permit was first issued.
Assemblyman Marc Butler and Assemblyman Brian Miller are proposing that the deadline be changed to 2019. Griffo is also requesting that anyone who completes the recertification process be given acknowledgement that they have done so while they wait for approval.
Griffo sent a letter to Cuomo requesting that permit holders be given an extension. Here is the full letter he sent:
"Dear Gov. Cuomo
I believe that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, while intended to be a resource to confront gun violence throughout New York, is of questionable constitutionality and risks making criminals out of law-abiding gun owners throughout the state.
While I am aware that pistol license holders in New York State who were issued permits prior to Jan. 15, 2013, have until Jan. 31, 2018, to recertify their license, I feel it necessary to write to you regarding concerns I have with the recertification process. This is an especially pressing matter given the fact that there are roughly 1.5 million pistol permit holders in the state.
My district has approximately 26,000 permit holders who are required to recertify in Oneida County, approximately 5,000 permit holders that should recertify in Lewis County and approximately 17,000 permit holders in St. Lawrence County who are required to go through the recertification process.
There have been several media reports indicating that regions across the state are seeing a low compliance rate due to confusion about the recertification process and backlogs at county clerk offices across the state. I believe that, due to these delays and confusion, citizens seeking to recertify their pistol licenses should be given an extension to do so. Granting an extension will help county clerks effectively deal with the recertification process. This will help alleviate any confusion and concern that a person may have and will ensure that law-abiding gun owners don’t face the risk of being considered a criminal.
It also has been brought to my attention that when someone completes the recertification process, they may not be given notice that they have been successful. I believe that anyone who successfully completes the recertification process – be it online, through the mail or at their local clerk’s office – should be given an acknowledgement that they have done so.
While I disagree with the legality and practice of the SAFE Act, I understand that it is currently the law and that people should abide by it. However, I believe that those attempting to follow the law and recertify by the Jan. 31, 2018, deadline should not be penalized and face the possibility of having their license revoked due to a situation that is out of their control.
I thank you for your consideration on this matter and I look forward to your response and action.
State Senator, 47th District"