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      Wait for pistol permits may exceed a year, personnel cuts and high demand to blame

      R esidents of Onondaga County who want a pistol permit will have to wait a year and a half or more before it's approved , due to a shortage of personnel and an increased demand for firearms .

      The pistol licenses in Onondaga County are administered by the Sheriffs Department.

      Sheriff Kevin Walsh tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that when a person picks up an application for a pistol permit they're told to come back in March of 2014 before the approval process can even begin. He says that approval process could take another six months.

      According to New York State law, obtaining a pistol permit requires a criminal background check, character references, a hand gun safety course and other requirements.

      The process used to take two to six months, but Walsh says he was forced to cut back on the number of people who process pistol permits in Onondaga County. There used to be three people in the licensing unit, now there is just one.

      Complicating matters is the recent increase in volume of pistol permits applications. Much of that is due to a rush of gun buyers in the wake of recent gun control efforts.

      The problem has spread beyond Onondaga County. The Cortland County Clerks Office reports a wait time of about 10 months, while Madison County reports a wait time of about a year.

      Sheriff Walsh says he recently got permission to install a new computer program which he says will streamline the process.