Senator Seward Calls for Extension of Pistol License Recertification Deadline

James L. Seward

January 10, 2018

Introduces legislation to allow license holders extra two months to comply with burdensome SAFE Act provision

ONEONTA, 01/10/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref- Oneonta) today announced that he has introduced legislation (S.7343) to extend the deadline for pistol license holders to recertify their licenses with the New York State Police.

“The SAFE Act is one of the most confusing and disputed laws I have seen in my 30 plus years in the legislature,” said Senator Seward.  “The pistol license recertification provision, in particular, was not well publicized and many people are unaware of the impending deadline or consequences for not recertifying.  Anecdotal stories and media reports indicate that compliance is extremely low and more time is needed to get the word out and make sure that law-abiding pistol license holders are able to meet the recertification deadline.”

Under current law, individuals with pistol licenses issued before January 15, 2013 are required to recertify their licenses with the New York State Police by January 31, 2018.  Many licensees have reported not receiving notification from the state police about the recertification.  Others have reported difficulty recertifying through the state police website.    

Senator Seward’s bill would extend the deadline for pistol license recertification by an additional two months to March 31, 2018.

“One of the reasons I voted against the SAFE Act was because of the recertification provision which threatens to make thousands of law-abiding pistol license holders into felons overnight – the legal ramifications are severe.  The state needs to ramp up their public awareness campaign and give individuals additional time to complete the recertification process,” Seward added.

Senator Seward’s bill has been referred to the Senate Codes Committee.

“The SAFE Act tramples on our Second Amendment rights and has failed to make us safer.  The entire package is an attack on responsible gun owners who meticulously follow the law, rather than ignore it like the criminal element.  I have consistently called for a full repeal of the SAFE Act, and passed legislation in the senate to reform several of the most onerous portions of the law.  I will continue to support full repeal and will also work to chip away at the law’s worst provisions,” Seward concluded.