Cortland among counties to pull out of SAFE Act pilot program
The Cortland County clerk’s office has backed out of a pilot run of a re-certification program for gun owners, part of the state’s stricter gun control laws, because it didn’t feel it was getting enough support from the state.
Under a provision of the January 2013 SAFE Act, current pistol permit holders must update their permits by 2018. That means verifying addresses and what weapons are owned.
Cortland was one of seven counties working with state officials to help develop the digital database, but County Clerk Elizabeth Larkin says meetings and phone calls dropped off in November.
"So if we weren’t going to have input, or at least information, of what was happening, then we were going to say we would not offer our participation as a pilot county," she said.
So in January she joined two other clerk's offices, Genesee and Ontario counties, and pulled out.
"We kind of decided that we weren’t going to participate," she said. "We were not going to subject our offices to this without any participation, without any information."
"Because with any new program, there are going to be bumps in the road."
Larkin says her office has already been working hard on digitizing records and complying with the new gun control measure.
Larkin says handling requests from gun owners last summer to ensure their names were blocked from public disclosure was “crazy.” And she didn’t want to go through that again without adequate support from the state.