Rochester, N.Y. – Lines at the Monroe County Clerk's office have been long since the signing of the New York SAFE act with law abiding citizens trying to make sure they are abiding by the new law.
“I'm just changing the address on my permit,” said Bill Kelly, who stood in line at the clerk’s office Friday. Kelly, who was making sure his pistol permit paper work was up to date, still has questions about the new gun law.
“Who's going to fund it,” asked Kelly, “where do we get the paperwork to be filled out? I know they want us to reregister our permits every five years.”
These funding concerns are shared by county clerks across the state.
That's a huge question because there's a large cost that would be associated with providing that form to pistol permit holders, having that form come back to county government and then processing the form,” said Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo.
Currently, it's unclear who these costs will fall on, but the New York State Association of County Clerks has prepared a position statement opposing counties to fund any of the law. This was unanimously approved by those at the meeting.
“We understand the law,” said Dinolfo, “but now that we are understanding the details of the law, who's going to pay for the implementation of this, and we absolutely don't want this to be another unfunded mandate on counties that are really struggling financially.”
Genesee County Clerk Don Read agreed. His budget, that was approved last year, could not afford to fund implementing aspects of this law.
“If the state police handles it, it will be more reasonable for us, it won't cost the counties as much, on the other hand I don't feel that's the most logical and sensible way to handle it,” said Read, who explained his office currently handles and has records of all pistol permits. “It's kind of a catch 22. It is a situation where it's an unfunded mandate, no question about that.”