Jan 11, 2018 by Tim Brown
As many New Yorkers’ pistol permits will expire at the end of the month and criminalize what are commonly law-abiding citizens because they have not been renewed and the bureaucratic process is taking too long, two Republican assemblymen have called for an extension of one year from the end of January to keep this from becoming a nightmare, not that requiring permission for a God-given right isn’t already.
Assemblyman Marc Butler took to Facebook to announce new legislation that he and another Republican introduced to deal with the issue, which is really a symptom of the larger problem that government is demanding money for permission to exercise a right that is supposed to be protected under our Constitution.
“Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I,Ref-Newport) introduced legislation to extend the firearms recertification deadline for pistol permit holders along with Assemblyman Brian Miller (R,I-New Hartford), who supports the proposed legislation. Pistol permit holders who have been issued licenses before January 15, 2013 must recertify their licenses by January 31 of this year, according to the governor’s SAFE Act law. However, of the estimated 1.25 million pistol permit holders in the state, only 204,000 have recertified as of December 2017. Butler’s legislation, which would extend the deadline to January 31, 2019, would allow both law-abiding citizens and municipal governments the time to appropriately comply with the governor’s imposed law.”
“This bureaucratic quagmire concerning pistol recertification is a real threat which could turn many otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals. The mess that is growing out of the pistol permit recertification requirement is one of the many concerns I had over the governor’s so-called SAFE Act,” said Butler. “Since so many hand gun owners are confused over the law, have received no notification from the State Police, and with additional questions being raised by our county clerks, New York must give additional time for this to be sorted out. I want to be sure we are helping citizens avoid being ensnared in the governor’s troubling gun law,” Butler added.
Assemblyman Miller says the implementation of the SAFE Act was “rushed and reckless” and that it has caused enormous problems for permit holders.
“The SAFE Act has already threatened the constitutional rights of law-abiding New York state residents,” Miller said. “Now, due to a rushed and reckless implementation of the governor’s unconstitutional policies, hundreds of thousands of law-abiding residents may unknowingly find themselves ‘guilty’ of a class E felony through no fault of their own.
“It remains unclear how many permit holders have been notified of the need to recertify and how many have not,” he added. “That is unacceptable. Even worse, because of this flaw in the system, permit holders would be forced to surrender their handguns and possibly their long guns as well due to the nature of the ‘crime.’ Permit holders must be properly informed and given due notice to recertify instead of being labeled as ‘criminals’ due to flawed policy.”
New York State Police has been posting reminders on social media in recent weeks and has been trying to establish a new database to handle the renewal program for several years with mixed results. In 2013, a pilot of the process was trialed in seven counties then was put on hold the next year without explanation. In 2015, three counties were enrolled in a smaller program in which 500 permit holders were contacted with an offer to voluntarily renew their license early in an effort to establish best practices and avoid a backlog.
Meanwhile, others, to include a number of count clerks who are seeking low compliance numbers, are asking Cuomo directly to otherwise push back the deadline. In addition to the drive to delay the recert requirement, a measure is in committee, A 5388, that would eliminate the mandate altogether.
The SAFE Act was indeed so rushed and reckless and citizens responded accordingly.
Some did so by burning their gun registration forms. Others, like this veteran, spoke out and got right down to the issue of government infringing on the rights of the people.
Let’s hope these men are successful in their attempts to slow the roll in New York or else we are going to see a lot of innocent law-abiding citizens labeled as criminals due to a bloated and tyrannical bureaucracy.