LITTLE VALLEY — Cattaraugus County Legislature committees approved a resolution Wednesday asking state lawmakers to extend the time period for many pistol permit holders to recertify with state police.
Sponsored by the five democrats and four Republicans making up the new bipartisan majority, it was amended by a member of the old majority, Howard VanRensselaer, R-Randolph.
VanRensselaer, the assistant majority leader, also called for support of another Assembly/Senate companion bill that would eliminate the recertification requirement and another that would fully repeal the SAFE Act.
Olean Democrat John Padlo, the new minority leader, had proposed the original resolution supporting Assembly Bill A.9514 and Senate Bill S.7583. Other members of the bipartisan majority led by Legislature Chairman James J. Snyder, R-Olean, agreed to introduce the resolution.
VanRensselaer’s amendment also notes that many law enforcement agencies in the state, including state police, have announced they do not plan to bring criminal charges against individuals who fail to recertify. Another passage states: “this legislative body declares that the SAFE Act provision requiring recertification is an unnecessary attack on the Second Amendment.”
Padlo argued over only one word of the amended resolution read by VanRensselaer in the County Operations/Public Safety Committee: Vast.
VanRensselaer’s amendment included the phrase: “and that the SAFE Act is opposed by a vast majority of the citizens of Cattaraugus County.”
Padlo thought the word majority was sufficient, as did Vice Chairman Susan Labuhn, D-Salamanca, another one of the cosponsors. VanRensselaer agreed to the change.
The resolution calls on the state legislature to extend the recertification timetable to July 31, 2019.
County Clerk Alan Bernstein estimated last month than a little over one-third of the more than 15,000 pistol permit holders had recertified only days before the Jan. 31 deadline.
State police continue to advise those pistol permit holders with permits issued prior to Jan. 15, 2013 to recertify either online or by mail if they have not already done so.
Those who unknowingly fail to recertify will not be charged, according to a state police spokesman.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)