Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, is sponsoring legislation to help streamline Niagara County's pistol permit process. The bill would help alleviate the current logjam in the license process while supporting Second Amendment rights by allowing a certified staff member of the Niagara County Clerk's Office to access mental health records for pistol license applications. Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, will also introduce this legislation in the state Senate.
"While we must continue to work diligently to make certain that guns don't end up in the wrong hands, more can and should be done to ensure that law-abiding New Yorkers are not punished by bureaucracy," Ceretto said. "By giving the Niagara County Clerk's office access to these important documents, we are increasing local firearms protections while streamlining the process for residents."
Currently, Niagara County residents can face delays of up to 10 months for a pistol permit as all background checks must be conducted out of the state Office of Mental Health. The Niagara County clerk, meanwhile, has certified staff members able to access the same records. With the ability to focus only on Niagara County and keep the process in-house, the permit process could be reduced to weeks, rather than dragging out for months.
"This common-sense legislation will go a long way to stop these unnecessary delays," said Chris Schotz, president of the Niagara County Federation of Conservation. "As president of Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs Inc., I'd like to thank Assemblyman Ceretto for his work on this issue. It's a win for sportsmen and sportswomen, and it's a win for Niagara County."
"I am very pleased that Assemblyman Ceretto has moved forward with this legislation, because Niagara County is one of the first counties to have a pistol permit examiner/court liaison in place," said Wayne Jagow, Niagara County clerk. "This legislation will provide my office with the opportunity to provide a timelier, efficient and secure means with which to process our new pistol permit applications."
Maziarz added, "It shouldn't take the better part of a year to get a pistol permit. Our bill implements a common-sense solution to a problem that law-abiding citizens are facing in Niagara County, and I will work for its passage in the Senate."