New York pistol permit holders in recert crisis
By Chris Eger
Lifetime permit holders are now facing the watershed of a mandatory re-certification deadline next month, a process described as “a mess” by county clerks.
To own a modern pistol or revolver in the Empire State requires a permit issued through the local county clerk’s office. Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 — commonly known as the NY SAFE Act — licenses issued since then have a five-year expiration date, meaning the myriad of lifetime pistol permits issued prior to 2013 are set to expire Jan. 31, 2018. Some county clerks, reporting that most of their expiring permits have yet to be re-certified, are worried.
“We think that there is approximately 50,000 permits (in Erie County) that haven’t been renewed,” said Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns, going on to warn that having a handgun without a valid permit could make gun owners liable to a felony charge overnight.
“If I were you and I had a pistol permit, I would re-certify it,” said Kearns. “Because if you do not re-certify it’s an automatic revocation of your license.”
It’s not just Erie County that has a glut of outstanding permits expiring in a few weeks. Lewis