New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Opposes Renewable Pistol Licenses

TROY, NY (12/03/2009)(readMedia)-- From time to time the notion of a renewable pistol license (in contrast to the current lifetime license) surfaces in the State Legislature. Rumors are currently spreading around the state via the internet and word of mouth that certain individuals/groups involved in Second Amendment advocacy are soliciting support for a Renewable Pistol Licensing Law. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association worked diligently last year to defeat a similar proposal brought forward by Governor David Patterson and we wish to make it perfectly clear at this time: The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association opposes this proposed legislation and will invest all our assets in defeating it.

We are told that a benefit of the proposed legislation would be periodic checks on license holders' legal status and fitness to own firearms. No one wants firearms in the wrong hands, and at present every firearm purchase in New York State requires a NICS background check. This serves the same purpose as periodic investigations, and at very low cost and inconvenience. The fee for periodic renewals is uncertain, but whatever it turns out to be, it is sure to escalate. New York City provides a useful comparison here. It currently costs hundreds of dollars to periodically renew a NYC pistol license, and that cost is sure to rise as City government seeks additional sources of revenue. Would a State system function any differently?

The proposed legislation would also add licensing requirements such as expensive, mandatory training classes run by well, we don't know. Would these classes facilitate the licensing process or serve as just one more way to deny an application? We don't know. In addition, you will be trekking to your county clerk's office, since renewal applications must be personally delivered. We are promised a 30-minute turnaround time at the clerk's office. We doubt it.

All in all, the proposed legislation offers little, and promises to be a burden. It is time for New York's shooters, hunters and Second Amendment advocates to join together and speak with one voice. Renewable Pistol Licenses are not an option for New York State firearms owners.