ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As a new year begins, new laws go into effect, including the recertification of pistol licenses.
Recertification is part of the New York SAFE Act, which was passed in 2013. It requires handgun owners to recertify their permits every five years.
However, the law requiring recertification just went into effect on Tuesday, so many handgun owners said they received no prior notice.
“I’ve spent a lot of time and money and investment in becoming a firearms owner,” Charles Foehser said.
Foehser spent a year getting his pistol license. He said he shouldn’t have to go through all of the paperwork again.
“I really shouldn’t have to do anything more than an amendment,” he said.
But he will in some form under state law.
According to the Safe Act, those issued a license before January 15, 2013 must recertify their permit by January 31, 2018. Those issued a license on or after January 15, 2013 will have to recertify five years after the date it was issued.
If a licensee doesn’t recertify, then he could lose his license altogether.
Local officials like Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner said they didn’t get a notice before the recertification went into effect.
“It’s been very difficult to try to get any information out of the state as to how they were going to go about this,” he said.
Hayner said he’s had to staff more people to field calls on the new law. Same goes for Saratoga County Sheriff Mike Zurlo.
“It’s taking away from the work my people are doing in the office this week,” he said. “I mean, we’re fielding over 100 calls in the last three days.”
Zurlo said answering residents’ questions is getting in the way of his job.
“My job as sheriff is to, you know, protect the citizens of Saratoga County and not be burdened with the SAFE Act provisions,” he said.
For Foehser, he said it comes down to the fact that he’s a responsible pistol owner.
“Now you’re adding another chance for a law abiding citizen to trip up on a law,” he said.
To recertify a permit, handgun owners can do so online or at any state police station. There is no cost for recertification.