Recertification Correspondence from New York State Police is Legitimate

Suspicion is rampant.  Calls and e-mail are flooding offices of the New York State Police requesting verification about a letter that many pistol permit holders in the state are receiving.

The NYSP says it is sending e-mail messages to pistol permit holders for whom recertification is due.  The letters, a sample copy of which appears below, are legitimate.  "It is an official e-mail," says the NYSP.

Laws governing firearms in the state, particularly the NY SAFE Act, requires that those who hold pistol / revolver licenses recertify their status every five years.  The recertification includes information such as a confirmation of address and list of firearms possessed - including their make, model, caliber, and serial numbers.

Failure to comply with the recertification will result in a revocation of the license.

The intention of the Secure Ammunition and Firearm Enforcement Act, known as the "NY SAFE Act," is to prevent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying guns.  While opponents say it impedes the right to bear arms, a note on the New York State SAFE Act website says, "The legislation includes provisions that protect and preserve law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms and does not restrict New Yorkers' ability to buy, sell, keep or use guns."

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Out of state residents who temporarily reside in New York must attach a copy of their driver's license or non-driver identification card to their applications.

Pistol Recertification Letter from New York State Police 2022
Pistol Recertification Letter from New York State Police 2022

Recertification dates are based on original licensing or recertification dates and are scheduled to repeat every five years.

If in doubt about the veracity of the letter, or if the letter does not direct a permit holder to an official government website, the New York State Police advises that residents visit the New York State Police website on pistol permit recertification.

The New York State Police says that recertification may take place online by visiting the New York State Pistol Permit Recertification page at:

Answers to frequently asked questions may be found at:

Questions about the NY SAFE Act may be answered by calling: 1-855-LAW-GUNS (1-855-529-4867).

More on the SAFE Act:

The SAFE Act was enacted on January 15, 2013.  It following the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut during which a 20-year-old shot and killed 26 people.  Twenty of the victims were six or seven years old.  The shooting inspired many to call for tougher guns laws after it was revealed that the shooter allegedly presented mental health issues during his early years.

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The Office of the Child Advocate for the State of Connecticut outlined several of the shooter's diagnoses from childhood, noting that they went untreated, despite efforts by his parents to find a diagnosis and proper treatment.  The report concluded that the "missed opportunities" in childhood to treat the shooter, identified for the purposes of this post and in the Connecticut report as "AL," were partially responsible for some of the violence he committed.

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Others have criticized the legislation as a kneejerk reaction to an event that was, by all accounts, horrifying.

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