New York Recertification Confusion

A local Buffalo, New York, television station ran a “news” segment early in the week of January 10, 2022, that resulted in dozens of panicked pistol permit holders phoning the Pistol Permit Office out of fear that their pistol permits were about to be suspended.  Here is what you need to know.

The report incorrectly stated that all permit holders had to re-certify by January 15, 2022, and that this was part of the 2013 SAFE Act.  Contrary to the local television reporting, not every pistol permit holder is “due” to certify this month.  

In fact, the Legislature has NOT amended the re-certification provisions of the SAFE Act since it was passed in 2013.  Under the SAFE Act, permit holders must certify his or her continuing eligibility to possess their permit every five (5) years.  The deadline is a rolling deadline based on the year you obtained your permit.  For example, if you were issued your permit on March 1, 2020, you must certify your continuing eligibility by the January following the 5 Year anniversary the permit was issued.  Using the above hypothetical, the permit holder who received their permit in March 2020 must re-certify by January 2026 (the January immediately following the 5-year anniversary of the date the permit was issued.

Matters get slightly LESS complicated for pistol permit holders who were issued permits before the SAFE Act was passed.  Pistol permit holders who had their permits before the SAFE Act did not have to certify until five years after SAFE Act was passed.  This means the majority of State-wide permit holders did not have to re-certify until January 2018.  Those permit holders who re-certified for the first time in January 2018 do not have to submit a new certification until January 2023.

Pistol permit holders who are unsure of their math can check their registration status by going to the New York State Police website: .  You will need your New York State Driver’s ID number and the last four digits of your social security number to access your online registration status.  The landing page also gives you the ability to re-certify electronically, in addition to checking your registration status. 

We are asked frequently what are the questions asked by the State Police during the recertification process.  Among the questions asked on the online re-certification application and on the paper forms are questions about whether the permit holder has gone by a different legal name, whether their home address has changed, whether their employer has changed and whether their permit classification (unrestricted, target and hunting only, etc.) has changed.  The certification paperwork also required the permit holder to list all of the firearms registered under his or her permit and the designate whether any of them are co-registered to another individual.  For this reason, among others, we recommend that permit holders re-certify by submitting the paper form which is available for download on the New York State Police website, linked above.

What if your information is different now than it was when you got your permit?  You should include new address, contact information, and employer information.  If you acquired a handgun, and you have added it to your permit through an Amendment filed at the pistol permit office, or if you disposed of a handgun through an Amendment filed at the permit office, include only those handguns on your permit. Do not include handguns that you previously, legally disposed of.

If you have any questions about how to fill out the firearms listing in the event that you have a missing gun or other issue, please contact an attorney immediately.  An honest mistake can cause big headaches once the form is mailed off to Albany. 

Good shooting,

Peter Vasilion, Esq.


1 comment to New York Recertification Confusion

  • Robert Jagodzinski

    Thank you so much I call the station asked aboutJackies comment and I could find the article. They said they would post it…well they didn’t and we know why. Thank you

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