October 20, 2021

5,000 Cortland gun owners yet to recertify permits

12 days to a felony

Jacob DeRochie/contributing photographer

Cortland County Deputy Clerk Brooke Kemak goes through the pistol permit recertification paperwork, a one-page document. Pistol permit holders in the state whose permits were issued before Jan. 15, 2013, must recertify their permits by Jan. 31, but more than 5,000 in Cortland County haven’t.

A single sheet of paper, a front side and back side. People fill out their name, address and Social Security number, and another detail or two.

About 7,000 people in Cortland County are required by the state to fill out the paperwork — a pistol permit recertification form. However, more than 5,000 of those 7,000 pistol permit holders have yet to submit recertification paperwork and the deadline grows near.

Cortland County Clerk Elizabeth Larkin said that state police told her Wednesday that 1,796 of the 7,000 permit holders have recertified. “We still have a long way to go,” she said.

However, Larkin said it’s the same way around the state with few people recertifying. Anyone who fails to recertify by Jan. 31 could have the permit revoked and face a felony charge if found with the gun.

State police spokesman Beau Duffy said anyone who is found in possession of a handgun could face criminal possession of a weapon charges. “Troopers are not going to take criminal enforcement actions against anyone who unknowingly did not recertify,” he said.

Duffy urges permit holders to recertify by the Jan. 31 deadline, however, state police will continue to accept recertification after.

Larkin thinks a lot of people don’t know they need to recertify. “People come in and they didn’t know,” she said.

To recertify, Larkin said people can either go to the state police website — firearms.troopers.ny.gov/pprecert/welcome. faces — or stop into the County Clerk’s Office and pick up the paperwork.

There is no cost for recertification, according to state police.

Where to send

People should mail their completed recertification form to:

New York State Police, Pistol Permit Bureau
Building 22
1220 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12226-2252

State Sen. James Seward (RMilford) has introduced legislation to extend the deadline for pistol license holders to recertify their licenses by two months.

Under the state’s SAFE Act, individuals with pistol licenses issued before Jan. 15, 2013, are required to recertify their licenses with state police by Jan. 31 this year.

Many licensees have reported not receiving notification from the state police about the recertification, according to a news release from Seward’s office.

Others have reported difficulty recertifying through the state police website.

Seward’s bill would extend the deadline for pistol license recertification to March 31.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Codes Committee, but it has no Assembly sponsor and it cannot become law without approval of both houses.

People filling out the recertification forms will need to fill out some information including:

• Name.
• Date of birth.
• Driver’s license number.
• Gender, height and weight.
• Firearm data; including manufacturer, model and serial number.

Information on the recerification form should match what has already been cataloged, Larkin said.

If information doesn’t match up, people must amend their permit.