Changes designed to speed up application process
The Niagara County Pistol Permit Office will roll out new hours next month in an attempt to speed up applications, with County Clerk Wayne F. Jagow noting a spike in pistol permit applications has slowed down the application process for residents seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The office will now be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and closed to the general public on Wednesdays to speed up processing of application paperwork. The change becomes effective the first week of June.
In announcing the decision, the county clerk's office noted, "We believe this small change will result in a more efficient process that will benefit Niagara County pistol permit holders and applicants."
The pistol permit office saw a significant increase in pistol permit applications following the enactment of the New York SAFE Act, the gun control law the Niagara County Legislature has urged the state to repeal. Due to the significant increase in applications, as well as additional paperwork, including an "opt-out" form that allows pistol permit applicants and permit holders to have their personal information shielded from public disclosure, the pistol permit wait time in Niagara County had slipped from approximately three months to five or more months.
Staff will now utilize Wednesdays, traditionally the slowest-traffic day of the week, to more expeditiously process applications and paperwork.
Jagow also said he is asking county lawmakers to add an additional employee to the pistol permit office. A resolution to create that position was introduced at Tuesday's Legislature meeting.