Jastrzemski said the state has mostly failed to to make permit holders aware of the re-certification deadline. Between 2013 and January 2017, he said, only about 4,000 permit holders re-certified in Niagara County.
A New York State Police spokesperson said that last January, the agency sent 372,388 letters to permit holders and utilized social media, press release and a video service at the Department of Motor Vehicles to raise awareness. NYSP could not provide the total number of permit holders across the state.
And, so far those efforts have proved inadequate in western New York, as most pistol owners in the county have yet to re-certify.
“They had five years to implement what needed to be done and how it needed to be done, and they’ve done a terrible job of getting the word out,” Jastrzemski said. “If we, as county clerks, didn’t start reaching out, it would be way worse.”
“When they got their permits, years ago, they were told their permits were for life, and now they have to recertify,” Ortt said. “And they were given no paperwork, no notice. In fact, some of them were learning about it when the county clerk was telling them about it at these town halls.”
The NY SAFE Act: Turning law-abiding New Yorkers into angry scofflaws one gun owner at a time since 2013.