NY SAFE Act And Its Recertification Fiasco

The state of New York and her governor are finding that the fallout for the NY SAFE Act is far from over. You see, in addition to being a constitutionally questionable (at best) law, it’s also creating an administrative nightmare for county clerks.


You know, the people who have to actually deal with this stuff.

With thousands of New York’s lifetime permit holders facing mandatory re-certification this month, some are calling on Gov. Cuomo to push back the deadline.

The myriad of permits, required to own a modern pistol or revolver in the Empire State, are set to expire Jan. 31 under the provisions of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, signed by Cuomo in 2013. However, with some county clerks reporting that most of their expiring permits have yet to be re-certified, Republican lawmakers want the time limit extended.

“Many pistol permit holders in my district have yet to receive the proper paperwork alerting them of the need to recertify,” said state Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda. “We must delay the deadline to avoid what will become a bureaucratic nightmare for residents, law enforcement and local officials.”

An inefficient government bureaucracy? Say it ain’t so!

Seriously, this is about par for the course. Especially when you’re trying to upend an existing process for a new one that gives government tighter control. Further, just how many people figure they don’t need to recertify because they have lifetime permits? After all, the term “lifetime” has a particular meaning, so you’d forgive someone for assuming “lifetime” meant “lifetime” and all that.


Further, a number who have apparently been notified just aren’t doing it.

Clerks across the state have warned that they have had a poor turnout on the free recertification process. In one county only about 1,550 out of 18,000 have completed the process. In another, just 5,000 out of 20,000.

I can’t help but think about the horrid compliance that took place with the NY SAFE Act’s requirement for all so-called assault weapons to be registered with the state police. Is this a similar case where gun owners are going to ignore a stupid law?

Part of me certainly hopes so. While I don’t advocate breaking any laws, no matter how stupid they might be, I also love a good act of defiance. Noncompliance is nothing if not an act of defiance, after all.

For Cuomo, however, this is probably music to his ears.

You see, the governor of New York doesn’t want people in his state to be armed. He can’t outright ban guns, for a number of reasons, but he can make it such a pain in the butt to own one that you just don’t want to fool with it. In that regard, NY SAFE Act is a dream come true for him.


Frankly, I want to see this act before the Supreme Court. I want to see the justices slap this draconian nonsense to the ground. Hard.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure when that will be. We already had everything we needed to see this in front of the Court with regard to Maryland’s assault weapon ban, and the Court declined to hear the case. Maybe they’re waiting for NY SAFE Act to show up so they can smack it down.


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