SAFE Act Handgun Recertification Program On Hold

County Clerks in New York are claiming that a little known aspect of the hastily passed SAFE Act, a requirement for handgun permit holders to recertify every five years, has been abandoned for the time being.

Via the Times Union:

A little-known component of the NY SAFE Act has shifted into low gear, according to county clerks who have participated in a pilot program to update handgun licenses.

Much of the controversy surrounding the 2013 gun control law has focused on its expanded assault weapons ban, and the accompanying registration requirement for previously owned rifles. (That deadline was Tuesday.)

But the NY SAFE Act also calls for handgun permit holders to be recertified every five years with their local county clerks or sheriffs. According to the law, all permit holders need to be recertified by 2018.

A pilot program designed to allow gun owners to up their certification earlier and avoid the supposed rush coming in 2018, has fizzled out.  Meetings and biweekly phone conferences became more sporadic.  And in February, as the first of 500 or so handgun owners were set to receive recertification notices, e-mails were sent out cancelling the remainder of the conference calls.

“They said they would notify us when they wanted us,” said Cortland County Clerk Elizabeth Larkin.

State officials have not given specifics for the delay, though most cite the difficulty in developing a new handgun database.  New York has run into similar data issues since passage of the SAFE Act, indefinitely postponing implementation of a system allowing background checks for all ammunition sales.

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