Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns announced the Erie County Pistol Permit Department will once again be accepting new applications for pistol permits by mail only.
On March 18, all in-person services were suspended at the department. This was in response to social distancing restrictions, as well as the New York State Court’s limitation of the work performed by the county’s licensing officer (a State Supreme Court judge) to only those matters the court system deemed essential. This resulted in the cancelation of more than 700 appointments to submit new pistol permit applications.
“Throughout the COVID response, we received many requests from the public about Pistol Permit Department services, and we did our best to perform remote services,” Kearns said. “During COVID-19 response operations, and for the first time we can recall, the Pistol Permit Department became completely current with processing applications. Additionally, licenseholders were still able to submit requests to add or delete firearms from their license through the mail. A lot of citizens took advantage of this opportunity.”
Now that the courts are resuming their work to nearly all matters, the county’s licensing officer may once again consider pistol permit applications. In response to this, the Pistol Permit Department will begin accepting new pistol permit applications – but through the mail only. Anyone who wishes to review their application with staff from the Erie County Clerk’s Office prior to submission may wait until the office can restore appointments.
Before mailing in a new application, Kearns advised people to refer to the Erie County Clerk’s Office website for detailed instructions (erie.gov/clerk). If more questions arise, call 716-858-4767.
“Thank you for your patience and cooperation. We are doing everything we can to work efficiently and provide as many services as possible, while also ensuring the safety of the public,” Kearns said.