There has been a recent surge in the amount of interest and submitted applications for pistol permits across New York State. IN Erie County, the numbers have been in the thousands over the past couple of years and that seems to be a trend that will continue for the near future.

But with all of the news about legislation and changes to application policies and concealed carry permits, what is the current status of the process in Erie County? We spoke with Erie County Clerk, Mickey Kearns, about the latest information and how that may or may not affect your application.

New Applicants

Following the receipt of a completed application as well as criminal & mental hygiene record checks, the approval or denial of a permit is the decision of the Erie County Supreme Court Justice who serves as the Licensing Officer.

According to Kearns:

As of now, everything is status quo. When a bill passes, it is not automatic to become law. We are waiting for clarity from Albany. We had a bill that passed that would add significant changes to the pistol permit process.

The process, AS OF NOW, is the same it has been from the certified training to the finger prints and final approval from the judge. But that may change and may include over 16 hours of additional training and possibly, live firearm training.

According to Kearns, since the news about the potential changes, Erie County has received over 50 applications per day.

"in 2006, we received about 820 applications. Over the past two years, the county clerk's office has received more than 13,000 applications."

As we close in on the end of August, there will be new laws pertaining to firearms in New York State.

One of those laws includes raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21.

With just two weeks to go until the new month, it is not really clear as to how that new process for acquiring and purchasing various firearms will go.

"All of the county clerks we not asked about our input about how this will be implemented. So right now, we can't put anything on the website about how to do it. I know people are nervous about it. If you are going to hand in a permit, as of now, it is all status quo."

While we wait for the updates, there have been new laws pertaining to toy guns in New York State.

The new law bans imitation weapons from being certain colors - black, blue, silver or aluminum. The toy guns must be colored white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, bright purple, or completely transparent or translucent.

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