The Republican minority in the Erie County Legislature introduced a resolution Wednesday, asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, to extend the deadline for gun owners to recertify their pistol permits. Under the SAFE Act, anybody with a permit that is five years old or more is required to recertify by January 31.

County legislators said as of the beginning of the month, only 21,549 of roughly 50,000 affected Erie County permits had been renewed.

“Because of the volume of permits to be renewed, additional time is needed to allow everyone the opportunity to fulfill this NYS requirement. The residents of Erie County deserve ample time to accomplish this,”  Legislator John Mills said.

In the meantime, they said they’ve organized a series of recertification outreaches with the County Clerk’s office to help permit holders through the process. Legislator Ed Rath said many people are just learning about the requirement.

“We shouldn’t be punishing lawful firearm owners,” he said. “This is a request for an extension so that people have more time to go through the appropriate recertification process. I hope Governor Cuomo will listen to the elected officials and residents from across the state who’ve asked for more time to make sure everyone gets properly recertified.”

State Assemblyman David DiPietro, R-East Aurora, introduced legislation Tuesday to extend the deadline for at least six months to a year. He was not particularly optimistic about its chance of passage.