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Jastrzemski sees progress on pistol permits, as State Police vow no confiscation


Tue, Jan 23rd 2018 05:50 pm
By Christian W. Peck
Niagara County Public Information Officer
Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski said the outcome of a meeting between State Police and the New York State Association of County Clerks held earlier today left him optimistic that gun owners' rights will be protected despite a looming deadline for pistol permit recertification under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's controversial SAFE Act gun control law.
Under Cuomo's gun control law, pistol permits must be "recertified" on a five-year schedule under a new mandate imposed by Cuomo. The Niagara County Legislature has gone on the record multiple times in unanimous opposition to the SAFE Act, and recently passed a resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, that sought an extension of the Jan. 31 deadline for pistol permit recertification.
Now, however, Jastrzemski noted, the State Police have updated the "Frequently Asked Questions" of the SAFE Act website.
The updated portions of the FAQ page are as follows:
Q: What happens if a permit holder does not recertify before the deadline?
A: According to the statute, failure to recertify shall act as a revocation of the permit. At the same time, until we have had an opportunity to process every submission, we will be unable to confirm who has not recertified and will be unable to transmit that information to the local licensing authorities. We do not set policy for local law enforcement, but can confirm that the State Police will not take criminal enforcement action against individuals who have unknowingly failed to recertify.
Q: Are the State Police going to continue to accept recertification past the deadline?
A: Yes. Since the goal of this provision is to improve recordkeeping, the State Police will accept late recertifications. To ensure accurate recordkeeping, recertifications submitted after the deadline will be tracked separately and categorized as such.
Q: Will permit holders' guns be confiscated if they can't prove they recertified?
A: To be clear, the State Police will not be confiscating weapons from those permit holders who fail to recertify by January 31st. This provision was never intended to be a "Gotcha" for pistol permit holders. It was included in the law that was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in order to update the accuracy of both state and local records. To that end, the State Police will continue to accept recertifications throughout 2018 while we continue to update the database.
"This marks real progress," Jastrzemski said after being briefed on the outcome of the meeting by Association of County Clerks' personnel. "We have always said that we wanted our law-abiding gun owners to be shown respect and not turned into criminals over bureaucratic paperwork. It looks like the State Troopers share our conviction."

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