EC Pistol Department Accepting Mail-In Permit Applications

BUFFALO (WBEN) - On Wednesday morning, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns announced that the Pistol Permit Department will once again be accepting new applications by mail only.

On March 18, all in-person services were suspended at the department due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the cancellation of more than 700 appointments to submit new pistol permit applications.

"Throughout the Covid response, we received many requests from the public about Pistol Permit Department services, and we did out best to perform remote services," said Kearns. "During Covid-19 response operations, and for the first time we can recall, the Pistol Permit Department became completely current with processing applications."

Before mailing in a new application, Kearns urges residents to view the clerk's office website for instructions. With any questions about the mail-in process not answered by the website, call 858-4767.

Kearns believes they are ready to reinstate in-person services at the auto bureaus, but he doesn't know exactly when they'll be allowed to reopen, though he's anticipating Phase Three. Kearns says splash shields have been installed to keep a buffer between staff and county residents.

"If the governor said today that we could open all of our offices, we would be prepared," Kearns said. "We're ready to go to open up to the public, but once again, we have to wait on the governor's executive order."

Listen to Kearns' full comments below: