EAST AURORA, N.Y. — There's roughly three weeks to go until the January 31 deadline for people who received their pistol permits more than five years ago to recertify.
"When you force law like this down the throats of the people, which I think is unconstitutional, you need to have a little longer time to get this in process," Assemblyman David DiPietro, R-East Aurora, said.
In Erie County alone, the Clerk's Office continues to estimate tens of thousands of people still need to go through the process. DiPietro said that's a problem.
"Right now, we've got a lot of flaws in the SAFE Act and a lot of flaws in the recertification so what this bill will do will give us six months or a year to smooth the process," he said.
DiPietro said although recertification was part of the gun legislation that passed in January 2013, there has still been a lot of confusion about it, so he's introducing legislation to delay the deadline.
"They did it wrong and they've been sitting there trying to revise it and fix it and they haven't been able to and it's become a mess. That's why we need another year, because of the state, not because of anything that we've done as a public," he said.
The assemblyman acknowledged even if his bill were to become law, the legislature may not pass it and the governor may not sign it before the end of the month.
"There's a huge urgency," he said. "Again, this state makes a habit of turning innocent people into lawbreakers."
DiPietro said the bill does not have a sponsor in the State Senate yet, but there are a number of people interested in taking it on. Still, he believes it's unlikely to pass in the Democratic-dominated Assembly.