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Deadline hits to recertify pistol permits in NY

John Crowley
Pistol permit holders must recertify with New York State Police every five years.

Wednesday is the deadline for New York State pistol permit holders to recertify their permits with state police. State police said they are focused on informing handgun owners about the requirement, which is a provision of the state’s SAFE Act. The deadline applies to those who were issued a pistol permit before January 2013.

Beau Duffy, Director of Public Information for New York State Police said the main purpose of the recertification, is to create an up-to-date database on active pistol permits at the state and local levels.

“In the past, there’s never been any kind of recertification or renewal process," Duffy said. "If there was any substantial change in somebody’s permit, maybe they moved out of state, maybe they no longer own the weapons, and maybe some people have died, all those records continue on in the database but there’s really been no mechanism to keep those updated.”

Duffy said state police will not pursue criminal enforcement if pistol permit holders do not recertify by the deadline.

"The state police are not going to penalize those people who fail to recertify unknowingly by the deadline," Duffy said. "What we’re going to do is continue to accept recertifications past the deadline. We want to make sure everyone is aware and has the opportunity to recertify so we can have the best records possible.”

But he said the law states that failure to recertify will result in revocation of the permit. County licensing officers and judges have the ability to grant or revoke permits.

“It’s in the law but I don’t want to speculate how they’re going to move forward on it," Duffy said. "It would be up to each office to make that decision.”

Duffy said a year ago, letters were sent out to more than 370,000 permit holders. He said they have had close to 300,000 recertifications submitted. Permit holders must recertify every five years and can do so online or by mail.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.