Niagara County Clerk Joseph Jastrzemski is now reminding hand gun owners with pre-January 2013 pistol permits that those permits needs to be recertified and time is running out.
Under terms of the NY SAFE Act, those permits must be recertified with NYS Police or they will be revoked. The NY SAFE Act requires pistol permits be recertified every 5 years and the pre-2013 permits are the first to come due.
State Police were supposed to send out notices to those who needed to recertify, but the Niagara County Clerk tells 7 Eyewitness News that he is finding several cases where a handgun owner did not get notified.
"We have many people out there who do not know they have to do this," said Joseph Jastrzemski.
Jastrzemski sent a letter to NYS lawmakers expressing his concerns about the low compliance so far. According to the letter, of the 28,506 pistol permits issued prior to January 2013 in Niagara County, only 5,277 have recertified as of September 2017.
The clerk's office has been holding town hall meetings to discuss the issue and answer questions. It is also running satellite operations to assist gun owners with the recertification process.
There are fears that many older pistol permit holders may not realize the deadline is coming, while others might be putting it off.
Regardless, Jastrzemski said he has been notified by NYS Police that pistol permits will be revoked if they are not recertified by the deadline of January 31, 2018.
Niagara County will be holding its next town hall meeting on the issue at 7 p.m Wednesday November 29 at the Hartland Town Hall, 8942 Ridge Road, Gasport.
Long-guns such as hunting rifles are not subject to the requirement.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.