BUFFALO, NY - New York's new gun law is adding more work, and costing more money for County Clerk's offices.
Although Governor Cuomo added money to the state police budget to enforce the new law, there was no extra funding given to county clerk's offices, which handle pistol permits.
And clerks across Western New York say they've been swamped ever since the law passed just over a month ago:
- People are applying for new pistol permits, or want to add guns on to their existing permits.
- Others are calling with general questions about the new law.
- And as of Monday, people can file forms with their clerk's office, that will prevent the release of any information to the public about their permits.
Clerk's offices are now being forced to pay their staff overtime or add employees in order to handle the new work that the new gun law has brought on.
"Our county clerk's office has ramped up by two and a half people in keeping up with the demand from the gun control act," said Doug Berwanger, the Chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors.
"We've been barraged with calls and inquiries and I've already had to allocate overtime to try to accommodate this. We've had over a two hour wait which we've never had before people are rushing in for these things," said Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.
Recently, State Senator Pat Gallivan and other Western New York state legislators met with county clerks and others who are affected by the gun law.
Gallivan tells 2 On Your Side that although there's been no move yet to give the clerks more state funding to help pay for their new workload, he does say it's very possible that more money could be allocated during upcoming negotiations with the Governor over his budget proposal that takes effect April 1st.
Governor Cuomo's office issued the following response to the concerns voiced above:
"As the law clearly states, any costs related to the NY SAFE Act will be covered by the state. Registration processes under the NY SAFE Act will be simple and readily available online, and come at no cost to localities. Any assertion that the law will pass costs down to counties is simply not based on facts and ignores what the law actually says."
NYS Division of Budget