Erie County, NY “loses” Pistol Permit Applications

When the New York legislature started working on its Concealed Carry “Improvement” Act last year, word got out about the monstrosity that was the bill and people rushed to submit their concealed carry permit applications under the old set of requirements so they could avoid subjecting themselves to the new rigmarole.

It turns out doing your part isn’t enough when the government can royally foul things up. As a peasant, of course you don’t have any recourse. WGRZ reports from Eric County, New York (archived):

Erie County residents say county lost pistol permits
Applicants who submitted permits before the state’s gun law change this time last year say they still have not received their permits.
ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — Twelve months ago, thousands of residents flooded to Erie County outreach centers to get pistol permits ahead of new state gun laws imposed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Carmen Marino of Cheektowaga was among them, but now one year later, rather than a permit in hand, he’s looking at possibly having the start the entire process again.
After submitting his permit in August of 2022, Marino didn’t hear from the Erie County Clerk’s office until May. He spent three months attempting to contact them after catching wind that his permit could be lost.
Eventually, someone returned his call.
“They’re like, ‘We don’t see it in the system, and we can’t find it anywhere. Oh, you’re one of those people who we’ve lost their application,’ ” he said.
Marino said he believes the office has lost a number of other applications over the last year.
It comes after a four-month audit into the Erie County Clerk’s office revealed a number of missteps within the pistol permit office, specifically, that, among other things, found the office overcharged new permit applicants, improperly gave employees access to applicants’ mental health records, and allowed for a flawed permit fee process that led to an imbalance in cashflow for the county.
“There is no excuse to lose something of this nature because they wouldn’t lose my payment for my taxes — I guarantee you,” Marino said. “They’re not losing that.”

This is typically bureaucratic behavior: overcharging people, yet careless enough with the applications to lose them, breaking privacy rules and inappropriately accessing an applicant’s mental health records. It’s par for the course.

The applicant Carmen Marino is absolutely correct about the County not losing his property tax payment. If the County lost the check he wrote for taxes, they would come after him not just for the amount due, but tack on fines and penalties and interest on top of that. That’s how government rolls, unfortunately.

Marino says at this point all he wants is for the county to call him back and tell him what to do — a response that even after trying a few times Wednesday, 2 On Your Side was unable to get either.
“We did our due diligence,” Marino said. “We did the application fee, the photo fee, fingerprints, the course, itself, that’s well over $185. Now with the new laws that the state put in place, you’re looking at over $600.”

The whole law and the process is a farce. New York State imposed new training requirements that impose a severe burden meant to discourage applicants from even trying to apply for a permit. They allowed local government agencies to jack up the monetary costs for exercising the fundamental right to bear arms. All of this because the Supreme Court said that the right to bear arms is applicable not just to the wealthy and politically-connected, but to the ordinary taxpaying citizen minding his own business.

I don’t see any recourse here. I expect the County to tell applicants to resubmit their applications, take fresh photographs, fingerprints (as if they’re Level 3 predicate sex offenders), and pay the increased $600 tax. A new wave of lawsuits hacking away at these infringements might help, but that’s far from a guarantee.

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