Requires the renewal of firearms' licenses after five years and the taking of a safety course outside the city of New York; sets a date for expiration and provides for a schedule for recertification to be developed by the commissioner of criminal justice services.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to providing for the expiration and renewal of certain firearms licenses outside the city of New York
PURPOSE: Extends statewide, with the exception of the city of New York, the requirement that a license to carry of possess a firearm be renewed every 5 years.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one: Amends subdivision 10 of section 400.00 of the penal law to extend license expiration and renewal regulations for pistols or revolvers to counties outside the city of New York, Nassau and Suffolk and deletes certification and recertification provisions for Westchester county. For counties outside of New York City a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver expires within five years of its issuance. For all other counties, outside of New York City, Nassau, and Suffolk counties, the expiration date of the pistol or revolver license is determined by a schedule promulgated by the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services.
Section two: The bill takes effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: New York state requires individuals to obtain a license in order to lawfully carry or possess a firearm. Prior to the issuance of such license, an investigation must be conducted by law enforcement officers to verify that all statements in the applicant's license application are true. Typically, the investigating officer interviews the references named in the application. In addition, records of the department of mental hygiene must be made available for inspection by such officer and fingerprints must be taken from the applicant in order to conduct a criminal history check.
However, other than in the counties of Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester and the city of New York, once a license to carry or possess a firearm has been issued, the license is permanent unless otherwise revoked or suspended. There is no opportunity for the licensing officer to determine whether the conditions that existed at the time of the issuance of the license have changed.
Reasons for requiring the renewal of firearm licenses include:
RENEWAL OF LICENSES WOULD PROVIDE REGULAR CONFIRMATION THAT THE LICENSE IS STILL QUALIFIED TO HAVE A FIREARM: Without a renewal system, certain criminal convictions obtained after the issuance of a firearm and/or development of mental illness by the licensee - changes in conditions that could result in a license revocation or denial of a license renewal - may go undetected.
RENEWAL OF LICENSES WOULD PROVIDE REGULAR UPDATING OF LICENSING INFORMATION: Such information includes the licensee's current name and address, and the make, caliber and serial number of all firearms possessed without a renewal system. licensees who move out-of-state - a change in conditions that could result in license revocation or denial of a license renewal - may go undetected.
REGULAR RENEWAL OF LICENSES CREATES AN INCENTIVE FOR LICENSEES TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THEIR LICENSES: Without a renewal system, licensees are less likely to update their licensing information.
RENEWAL OF LICENSES ENSURES THE INTEGRITY OF THE LICENSING SYSTEM: Without a renewal system, there is no opportunity for licensing officers to determine whether licensees remain in compliance with the terms of their licensees.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.1598 (Schneiderman) - Committed to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 725 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. PERALTA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to providing for the expira- tion and renewal of certain firearms licenses outside the city of New York THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 10 of section 400.00 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 447 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows: 10. License: expiration
[, certification]and renewal. Any license for gunsmith or dealer in firearms and, in the city of New York, any license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, issued at any time pursuant to this section or prior to the first day of July, nineteen hundred sixty- three and not limited to expire on an earlier date fixed in the license, shall expire not more than three years after the date of issuance. [In the counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, any license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, issued at any time pursuant to this section or prior to the first day of July, nineteen hundred sixty-three and not limited to expire on an earlier date fixed in the license, shall expire not more than five years after the date of issuance; however, in the county of Westchester, any such license shall be certified prior to the first day of April, two thousand, in accordance with a schedule to be contained in regulations promulgated by the commissioner of the divi- sion of criminal justice services, and every such license shall be recertified every five years thereafter. For purposes of this section certification shall mean that the licensee shall provide to the licens- ing officer the following information only: current name, date of birth, current address, and the make, model, caliber and serial number of all firearms currently possessed. Such certification informationELSEWHERE THAN IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK ANY LICENSE TO CARRY OR POSSESS A PISTOL OR REVOLVER, ISSUED AT ANY TIME PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION OR PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF JULY, NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY- THREE AND NOT LIMITED TO EXPIRE ON AN EARLIER DATE FIXED IN THE LICENSE, SHALL EXPIRE NOT MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE, PROVIDED THAT ELSEWHERE THAN IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, NASSAU COUNTY AND SUFFOLK COUNTY, THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF ANY SUCH LICENSE FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING THE EXPIRATION DATE OF SUCH LICENSE SHALL BE ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH A SCHEDULE TO BE CONTAINED IN REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES. Any license not previously cancelled or revoked shall remain in full force and effect for thirty days beyond the stated expiration date on such license. Any application to renew a license that has not previously expired, been revoked or cancelled shall thereby extend the term of the license until disposition of the application by the licensing officer. In the case of a license for gunsmith or dealer in firearms, in counties having a population of less than two hundred thousand inhabitants, photographs and fingerprints shall be submitted on original applications and upon renewal thereafter only at six year intervals. Upon satisfac- tory proof that a currently valid original license has been despoiled, lost or otherwise removed from the possession of the licensee and upon application containing an additional photograph of the licensee, the licensing officer shall issue a duplicate license. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00317-01-1 S. 725 2
shall be filed by the licensing officer in the same manner as an amend- ment. Elsewhere than in the city of New York and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, any license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, issued at any time pursuant to this section or prior to the first day of July, nineteen hundred sixty-three and not previously revoked or cancelled, shall be in force and effect until revoked as herein provided.]