Pistol Permit Recertification by Tom Reynolds
If you read our emails from SCOPE, you know that New York State has been changing the date on which Pistol Permits had to be recertified. Permits that formerly had five (5) years to recertify have been changed to three (3) years.
Apparently, a lot of people were as surprised as I was about the change in recertification dates. SCOPE’s email was burning up after members got our warning and checked their recertification date. They obviously believe that this was done “behind our backs”.
Pistol Permit holders were surprised because they believed that if they recertified before September 1st, it would be 5 years to recertification. Why did they believe that? Because when they recertified, the response from the New York State Police (NYSP) had a 5 years renewal date. That, very reasonably, led them to believe that they had 5 years.
As of January 21st, there has not been, to my knowledge, any public statement by the NYSP that the 5 years recertification dates that licensees had been given were no longer valid and had been unilaterally changed to 3 years.
If the government passed some subsequent law that changed any other license or permit, we would reasonably expect some kind of notification and public statement. But it did not happen with firearms. (Merely an oversight in a state that hates the 2nd Amendment? Not many of us believe that!)
I went back and checked the NYSP’s website for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). They addressed several recertification FAQ’s but the one conspicuously missing was: If I am currently scheduled for recertification in 5 years, will it be shortened to 3 years? Somehow, NYSP didn’t think of that as worth mentioning, even later while they were actually doing it. It is valid for people with a piece of paper issued by the NYSP which indicates a 5 years recertification date to believe they have those 5 years before recertification is due.
What angered many permit holders (and sowed their distrust) was that there was no notification to them that their recertification time had been shortened. Apparently, many of them (like I did) kept track of their recertification date so they would continue to be law-abiding citizens and would not inadvertently break the law. They / I had no reason to go back to the NYSP web site to see if anything changed since we had a piece of paper in our files telling us exactly when recertification was due.
Another big response has been people asking if this was intentionally misleading, to give the NYSP an excuse to confiscate firearms. Will NYSP be notifying them in 3 years? Only the NYSP can answer if it is cover for confiscation and if they will notify us.
On August 27th, I wrote an email about people recertifying early (before September 1, 2022) in order to avoid getting the shorter, 3 years, recertification period. What I wrote at that time was. “What we don’t know is if NY will try to strike back at people who avoided the new law when they recertified early.”
Now we know.
One other interesting point: check the actual pistol permit plastic cards we were issued. No expiration date and no statement that it is a lifetime permit. It was left open for abuse like this.
Since NYS laws are written in ‘legalese’, we depend on the government to issue instructions and forms that interpret laws and keep us as the law-abiding citizens we want to be. For instance, before applying, does anyone read the actual wording of the law for obtaining or renewing a driver’s license? We follow the government’s instructions and depend on the government to guide us and insure we comply according to the law. (However, the NY government is trying to do away with the 2nd Amendment, so they believe they can leave a rather important part unsaid and make criminals of law-abiding gun owners?)
We expect that the NYSP and Hochul will defend this by simply saying that the 3 years period is in the law.
But did the law apply to permits issued, recertified and documented before the law became effective? There are, obviously, a lot of questions being frequently asked about that. As stated earlier, the NYSP didn’t believe that should be a FAQ…or did they and they wanted to bury it.
State Senator Thomas O’Mara has quickly introduced bill number S2176 into the NY Senate, as soon as SCOPE notified him of this. That bill would require the NYSP to send renewal notices at least 90 days before expiration to holders of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver.