POUGHKEEPSIE – The "Safe
Act" enacted by state in 2013 did more than limit the number of bullets
that a magazine can hold in a New York firearm. The legislation also requires
pistol permit holders to re-certify their permits every five years, which
many residents have not done by the recently passed January 31st deadline.
Individuals with permits issued before January 15, 2013 were supposed
to re-certify by January 31, 2018, according to Dutchess County Clerk
Brad Kendall. The statewide requirement has not been adhered to on a widespread
basis, according to statistics on the Safe Act website.
In Dutchess County there are 20,000 to 25,000 active permits. As of February
6, 2018 only 11,791 permit holders have completed the process, according
A postcard style brochure at the various county clerk offices in Dutchess
County states that "Recertification well before the 01/13/2018 deadline
will avoid tremendous trouble and expense trying to get your pistol license
and handguns back after your pistol license was revoked and your handguns
have been surrendered to law enforcement. This scenario is bad for you,
bad for law enforcement, and bad for gun owners in general."
According to a statement on the Safe Act website, the goal of the process
is to improve the record-keeping of both state and local authorities.
Under the current system, if a permit holder passes away, no action is
taken to update records to reflect that this permit is no longer active.
By going through the process every five years, redundant or out-of-date
records can be eliminated and the accuracy of record-keeping can be improved.
The State Police are accepting re-certifications through the end of the
year. Renewals submitted after the now passed deadline will be tracked
separately and categorized as such by the troopers. The State Police are
currently working to process all re-certifications. The is expected to
take nine to 12 months, after which local authorities will be provided
with updated information.
While the postcard publication mentions potential problems for failing
to re-certify, the website says that the troopers will not be confiscating
weapons from those who fail to re-certify after the now passed deadline.
The website went further to dispel arguments from critics that the program
is nothing more than a confiscation list by saying the provision was never
intended to be a "Gotcha" for pistol permit holders" and
is designed to maintain accurate records.
Dutchess County resident Jackie Emslie, a firearms educator with years
of experience under her holster, said "Recertification, although
we do not like it, is the law, and all pistol licensees are encouraged
to be compliant."
New York State pistol permit holders can re-certify online at https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov
and follow the instructions.
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