Onondaga County hoping to speed up pistol permit waits

May 29, 2013

Onondaga County residents who want to get a pistol permit, are still seeing waits of more than 14 months to get an initial interview needed to get that permit.  But, county officials are expediting the purchase of a computer program that should move things along.

It'll be about a month before new software replaces the index cards Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies now use to process pistol permits, and start to make a dent in the wait for a permit hearing. County Legislator Kevin Holmquist says one of the reasons it took so long to award a contract for the software, was the state's new gun control law, called the NY SAFE Act.

"The software program was actually voted on by the county legislature last year. It would have been fine and implemented months ago if it wasn't for the SAFE Act. The SAFE Act  delayed implementation of the software because we had to rewrite the program to incorporate the safe act in it," said Holmquist. "So that's really been the main delay here."

Holmquist says once the software is in place, the wait for an interview should drop down to five months. Lawmakers expect to allocate more money for the Sheriff's Department to help with pistol permits in the next budget, bringing the wait down to two months, traditionally how long it's taken to get a pistol permit interview in the past in Onondaga County. Exacerbating the problem has been an increase in the number of people applying for pistol permits since state lawmakers approved the NY SAFE Act in January.