GETZVILLE, N.Y. – Local leaders are continuing their outreach efforts ahead of the upcoming pistol permit recertification deadline.

This January marks five years since Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented the New York Safe Act in 2013, and that means now is the first time many gun owners have ever had to recertify.

Another “Q and A” meeting was held at the Clearfield Branch library to reach Erie County residents who have yet to recertify.

Some of the questions that came up were as follows:

  • Q: How can my out-of-county son and I continue to co-own our guns?

    A: You both list all shared guns on your permits.

  • Q: How can my out-of-state son and I continue to co-own our guns?

    A: You can't, because your out-of-state son can't hold a New York pistol permit. Register them all in your name instead.

  • Q: What does the state do with the personal information I'm required to share?

    A: No one is really sure yet other than for the sake of creating a database.

  • Q: How do I know my recertification went through?

    A: Go to https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov/pprecert, and click “check recertification status.” You will need your driver's license number. If you recertified online, you should have received a confirmation e-mail. You can also check with the Clerk's office.

All of the above are valid questions for residents trying to follow a law that is just hitting it's first-ever, five-year recertification deadline for gun owners who were issued licenses before January 15, 2013.

Erie County legislator Ed Rath says Erie County has had 21,000 people successfully recertify, but another 30,000 still who have not recertified.

He's writing a resolution to join state leaders in the chorus to call on Governor Cuomo to extend the Jan. 31 deadline.

“I don't think people need to be concerned about New York State going to people's doors and taking their guns away, but I would call on New York to be mindful of lawful gun owners and those who have been doing things the right way for their entire life in New York State,” Rath said.

Rath points that the folks trying to figure out recertification are the law-abiding kind of citizens, and it would be a shame if they're permits were revoked simple over confusion of the law.

It's on New York's county clerks to help get the job done, and that's why Mickey Kearns is hosting 20 of these “Q and A” outreach meetings through Erie County, and he's hoping for a deadline extension, too.

"I'm also going to draft a letter to the Governor asking for an extension. It's almost impossible to get this done, and I'm hopeful that we can have some type of...we can move the goal posts and we can have an extension on the deadline because I don't know how we're going to do this,” Kearns said.

Kearns says if you have still to recertify, he recommends doing it online if you can through the New York State Police website, or if you prefer to do it by mail, he recommends doing so through certified mail so that there's a paper trail to prove you did it on time. Of course you can also go to the County Clerk's office, where there's a kiosk set up with recertification applications.

It is free to recertify, though there may be county fees for any new permit applications.

Check out this lengthy Safe Act FAQ sheet for more information on recertifying your pistol permit.