Jastrzemski, Legislators Planning Meetings in Lewiston, North Tonawanda to Address Public Questions, Assist with Process
LEWISTON—County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski is planning to address one of the more confusing aspects of the controversial NY SAFE Act gun control law at a series of meetings planned around Niagara County in coming weeks, ahead of a Jan. 31 compliance deadline that puts some gun owners’ pistol permits in jeopardy.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2013 gun control law mandated pistol permit “recertification” on a five-year basis. The permits, issued for the life of the holder in most jurisdictions, now need to be “recertified” with the New York State Police.
That has left many gun owners with more questions than answers, and Jastrzemski, Legislator Becky Wydysh, R-Lewiston, and Legislator Clyde Burmaster, R-Ransomville, will be joined by Niagara County Pistol Permit Office staff Monday in Lewiston in an effort to answer those questions and assist gun owners with the paperwork that the state now obligates them to complete.
Jastrzemski, Wydysh, and Burmaster will be hosting a “Recertification Town Hall Meeting” Monday night at 7 p.m. at Lewiston Town Hall, 1375 Ridge Road. They hope to address concerns and provide answers about gun owners exact obligations under Cuomo’s gun control law, some parts of which have been successfully challenged in court.
A second meeting featuring Jastrzemski and County Legislators Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, and Rich Andres, R-North Tonawanda, is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the American Legion’s Sikora Post, 950 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda.
“We know this law is controversial, but we also know that not complying with the pistol permit recertification puts those pistol permit holders in jeopardy,” Jastrzemski said. “We want to protect our gun owners rights, which are clearly laid out in the Second Amendment, but we also want to take practical steps so that they don’t lose their guns to state enforcement.”
Wydysh echoed Jastrzemski.
“This law has been a trainwreck from the get-go,” Wydysh said. “We’re just trying to make sure our local gun owners aren’t tangled up in the wreckage.”
Bradt, a pistol permit holder himself, agreed.
“The SAFE Act should never have been passed, but failing to comply with the recertification mandate gives the state an excuse to take away privately-owned guns,” Bradt said. “We want to talk with pistol permit holders about this, and about how best to proceed.”
Bradt noted that the Niagara County Legislature has consistently called for the law’s repeal and passed legislation banning the state from using the county seal in any SAFE Act enforcement communications.
“The bottom line is, we don’t want to see good, law-abiding gun owners lose their guns, and we’re going to do our best to help make sure that doesn’t happen,” Bradt added. “I’d urge my fellow gun owners to attend these town hall meetings.”
The meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Additional meetings are planned for Lockport, the Town of Niagara, and Hartland. Details will be announced at a later time.
Please find an informational flier attached in pdf format.