Failure to Recertify Pistol Permits to Lead to Confiscation for NY Gun Owners?


NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo rammed the dreaded SAFE Act through the state legislature in 2013.

The government has spoken.  New York pistol permit holders must recertify their licenses every five years.  This mandate was established with the passage of the NY SAFE Act in 2013.  For everyone who had a license prior to the passage of the SAFE Act, the deadline for recertification is Jan. 31, 2018.

Of the estimated 1.25 million permits across the state, only 204,080 have been recertified, according to a recent report by the Times Union.

Problematic?  To quote Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”  Remember, New York requires a permit not just for concealed carry but for the mere possession of a handgun.

The obvious question is what happens to those folks who fail to recertify their permits by the deadline?  Does Gov. Cuomo, the main champion of the SAFE Act, unleash the confiscation hounds?

The short answer: Unlikely, given what it would take for a statewide seizure of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of handguns.

“We don’t have the resources to do it and we’re not even clear that we have the authority to do it. There are a lot of questions about due process,” Peter Kehoe, executive director for the state Sheriff’s Association, told the Times Union.

That said, I wouldn’t put it past Cuomo to try.  It could be done. County clerks have the names of all the permit holders in the state.  They’d just need to inspect who hasn’t recertified, put their name on the confiscation list and then forward that to local law enforcement.

SEE ALSO: NY Police Mistakenly Confiscate Vietnam Vet’s Guns

This looming threat of confiscation might be why county clerks have been inundated with questions from both law enforcement and the public.  Everyone wants to know what will happen to those who don’t recertify.

“We are unable to answer the numerous questions from our mutual constituents and other interested parties,” says a Dec. 7 letter signed by County Clerks Association President Annette Hill, of New York City.

What this is is a real cluster…  To make matters worse, many of the pre-2013 permit records are on index cards or in file folders, according to Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.  To get all those records digitized and uploaded to the State Police database is no small task.

“They don’t have the people or the money to do that,” said King.  “There are going to be a lot of problems with this.”

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what Cuomo does to address these issues.  Will he work with the Legislature to extend the deadline? To give permit holders more time to register and to give clerks more time to process records? Or will he go after gun owners who fail or refuse to recertify?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • SeppW December 23, 2017, 5:15 pm

    It’ll never happen. There is no way the State of NY is going house to house to search and seize firearms.

  • Area 52 December 23, 2017, 1:05 am

    NY is the east coast’s equivalant of CA.

  • Auggie December 22, 2017, 7:52 pm

    If they were to Confiscate ones firearm can they do that without compensation?
    Could the gun owners of NY state pool their money together and take these people to court?
    I don’t see things turning the other way there or in New Jersey unless the Gunowners come together as one voice with deep pockets which = Top Lawers.

  • just1spark December 22, 2017, 4:30 pm

    How will they pull this off? Easy.

    DMV: Hi this is the DMV, you wanna renew your drivers license? Oh! Looks like you have a lapsed gun permit.
    You must rectify that before you can get your license renewed.

    IRS: Hello, our records indicate your state gun permit has lapsed. Your refunds will be withheld until the situation is rectified.

    Hitler met armed resistance from men and women, all over Europe.
    Except in Germany, where he knew who had a gun, and where they were.

    • Auggie December 22, 2017, 7:59 pm

      I agree with @just1spark. They can use the DMV and all the other state offices against you!
      Just like you fail to pay a parking ticket.
      They do not come looking for you as they know you need to renew your license, registration, business license, permit to work on your house, the list goes on and on!

      • Jerry December 24, 2017, 8:31 pm

        The only problem with that argument, is they don’t -want- you to have the guns in the first place, so they don’t care if your permit lapses. That gives them justification to confiscate the guns. They aren’t going to use other agencies to force you to renew something they don’t want you to have.

        • Dr Motown December 27, 2017, 8:42 am

          If there’s money required to get a permit, the state will most certainly use other agencies to get all they can from you

  • Dave December 22, 2017, 12:41 pm

    The leaked NYS Police field guide shows that the state police will treat a lapsed/expired/revoked handgun permit as if you are unfit to possess any firearms and WILL confiscate all firearms from your possession…including long guns. No joke.

  • Ricky Rogers December 22, 2017, 11:11 am

    Who made up the state militias? Everyday citizens who were required to provide their own arms and that those arms be “of the type in use of the day”, that’s who. The state militias were composed of every able bodied male in the state. If you really wanted to enforce the ‘Militia Clause’. Every able bodied, law abiding citizen would be required to own an M16 assault rifle, an M4 carbine and/or an M249 squad automatic weapon and a modern 9x19mm semiautomatic handgun, and you can add a Mossberg 590 and/or a Benelli M4 to go with them if you like.
    If you want to see what the Founders really thought about guns, take a look:
    “A free people ought to be armed.”– George Washington
    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”– George Washington
    “The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!”– George Washington
    “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.”– George Washington
    “Guns in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion… in private self-defense.”
    – John Adams
    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, at last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”– Thomas Jefferson
    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”– Thomas Jefferson
    “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    – Thomas Jefferson (quoting Cesare Beccaria)
    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”– James Madison
    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”– James Madison
    “Any man who would trade essential liberties for a little temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security.”– Benjamin Franklin
    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? … If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”
    – Patrick Henry
    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”– Patrick Henry
    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”– Patrick Henry
    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…”– Richard Henry Lee
    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”– Richard Henry Lee
    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.”– William Pitt
    “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”– George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights
    “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
    – George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights
    “… arms … discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…. Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them.”– Thomas Paine
    “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”– Joseph Story, U.S. Supreme Court Justice 1811-1845
    “The ruling class doesn’t care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake.” – Senator Malcolm Wallop
    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” – Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
    “A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
    “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” – Mahatma Ghandi
    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt, British Prime Minister 1783-1801, 1804-1806
    “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” – Saint George Tucker
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you … it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” – Dalai Lama

    • Darryl December 22, 2017, 8:14 pm

      i try to tell a lot of people this same thing to let them know what our founding fathers meant by have the 2nd amendment and most still don’t get it. all of these words by them are the reason we should have our guns and go anywhere without getting a permit. states only did the permit thing as a means to make money and to track who has guns and that all.

      thank you for your post.

  • stephen stewart December 22, 2017, 9:58 am

    I live in NY and today’s paper just mentioned that 190,000 people have left NY this year. It goes on to say that almost one million have left since 2010! I wonder how many of them are sportsmen & women that are fed up with Cuomo’s crap!

    • Steve Cohen December 23, 2017, 5:22 pm

      We’re two of them. Left in 2011. Retired at 59, and Mario’s idiot boy Andy won’t see a nickle in taxes from my tax deferred IRAs!

      Never had a gun in NY. In NY.

  • Bobo December 22, 2017, 9:13 am

    Moved out of NY many years ago. Got sick of the taxes and all the crazy laws the Uber liberals were passing. No matter what these liberals say including the state police their ultimate aim will be to seize peoples firearms. The county I lived in and others had all handguns in a computer database and seizing them would be very easy.

  • Dave December 22, 2017, 7:53 am

    Tom King from NYSRPA should never be quoted. This guy is a a big time crook who have taken in over $400,000 in member money and delivered nothing of value to NYSRPA members. NYSRPA is losing money and King still takes his undeserved salary and does nothing of value to earn it.
    Get the facts about NYSRPA and learn what Tom King is all about at these links.

  • Mark December 22, 2017, 7:47 am

    I understand freedom. I understand and support the Second Amendment. But I have a question… If you have a pistol permit in New York State you’ve already gone through the process and they know who you are, where you are and whatever guns you have listed on your permit. Why would there be resistance to recertifying your pistol permit? I must be missing something here.

    • Dick December 22, 2017, 10:02 am

      Simple, some permit holders will fail to ‘recertify’ allowing their pistols to be confiscated. One permit holder at a time their agenda is being implemented.

    • Jeff December 22, 2017, 7:00 pm

      If current permit holders are unable to recertify online because the system is inadequate or incomplete, then they are at risk of losing their permits through no fault of their own. It’s not a resistance, but inability to comply.

    • Darryl December 22, 2017, 8:19 pm

      my guess is once they got their permit they never had to go back to get it again it was good for life. just a guess. where i live you don’t have to rectify but you do have to pay for a new permit every 5 or 10 year which ever you want.

      • Dr Motown December 27, 2017, 8:46 am

        The word “pay” is key here: just another way for some states and local gubbmints to gouge you every 5-10 years for the audacity of owning a firearm

  • Philip D December 22, 2017, 6:21 am

    For Informational Purposes Only Would advise anyone Who is facing a lapsed Pistol Permit to Get their Handguns Out of New York State
    So If The Police come to Confiscate and find none Then You maybe able file a lawsuit against them
    I wonder If They will be looking for People Who owned handguns in New York and have since moved out of the state ?

    • Darryl December 22, 2017, 8:20 pm

      by what that NY cop said in the video yes they would be looking for them.

  • Kevin Cote December 22, 2017, 6:15 am

    I quote , ” A Militia being necessary to a free state , the Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed “… The Militia is the people, organized or unorganized. All men and women of age who can carry load and shoot are considered the ” Militia”.. something these treasonous bastard communist freaks have edited out of the public indoctrination . Blame the BAR, blame the Vatican and blame the apatby of the sedated and controlled masses.
    If We the People do not wake up and organize our dejure ” Republic form of government” and do it fast the entkre planet will fall under the spell of Evil…. we have lost our way and forgotten who gave us all of this beautiful world and all the inumerable gifts . We worship the wrong god and are being punished…. tbese alleged ” laws” that are being forced upon us by our placid consent are ” mans laws” which are contrary to Gods Laws…who will you obey ?.. are you willing to appease these evil little bastards and risk eternity suffering for disobeying God ? DO NOT DISCOUNT WHAT I AM PUTTING FORTH . THINK AND PRAY FOR HIS DIVINE GUIDANCE…IT IS NOT ABOUT GUNS , IT IS ABOUT WHO YOU WILL BE RULED BY….GOD OR man …

  • John R. Pyles 111 December 21, 2017, 3:55 pm

    The Governor of the Great State of New York is a stain on our Constitution and a direct threat to the freedoms of the citizens of his state, and along with his like minded friends in Congress a direct threat to these United States of America. and we all must resist(borrowed from the traitorous murdering whore Hillary), contact your Representative’s and Senators to stop his kind.

    • JOHN WERNER December 22, 2017, 8:32 am


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