Sheriff urges resistance to New York’s gun law

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An upstate New York sheriff, an outspoken critic of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 gun-control law, has urged gun owners to ignore a state invitation to recertify their pistol permits early.

Fulton County Sheriff John T. Lorey told a Jan. 22 meeting of Oathkeepers that his is one of the pilot counties for early recertification under the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. He said anyone who receives one of the 500 invitations to recertify before the 2018 mandatory deadline should “throw them in the garbage, because that’s where they belong.”

Lorey said he even volunteered his county to be in the pilot program for early renewals just to make a point by rejecting the invitations. The state’s idea for the early recertification is to spread out the processing workload.

He said never in a 100 years of a pistol permit requirement has recertification been required. “Let all of these permits expire at the same time, and let’s see what they [the state] do,” he said in a speech posted on YouTube.

“In the state of New York, there are two types of permits, a license to carry and a license to possess. The license to carry was never meant to be restricted.”

Starting in 2018, the SAFE Act requires pistol permits to be recertified every five years, and Lorey said that’s going to require money out of gun owners’ pockets.

Lorey said his office is busy enough battling real crime and criminals to waste time on the SAFE Act. “I want to assure you that everyone in Fulton County has nothing to fear from the sheriff’s office” related to the SAFE Act, he said.

Oathkeepers is a nationwide organizations made up primarily of current and former military and law enforcement officials who have pledged to disobey orders requiring them to violate anyone’s constitutional rights.

The New York State Sheriff’s Association has spoken out against several of the act’s provisions. Numerous anti-SAFE Act rallies have been held throughout the state, including rallies that have filled the lawn behind the State Capitol in Albany.

Several lawsuits have been filed against it. A federal Appeals Court may make a decision as early as February in a suit brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. Another suit has been filed by a former Navy veteran and retired policeman who claims his handguns were confiscated improperly, under the

SAFE Act’s mental health provision, after he sought hospital treatment for insomnia.

A few days earlier, Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway addressed the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs here, saying he is expediting new pistol permits, already bring down the wait time from 18 to two months and is working to cut that to 30 days, Syracuse.com reported. He said he is committed to making the permits “convenient and accessible” to law-abiding citizens.

He also spoke against the SAFE Act. “When this legislation came out it didn’t make sense, and still doesn’t make sense,” he said. “I know there’s the large number of sheriffs in this state who feel the same way I do.”

At the same session, Stephen Aldstadt, president of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, said opposition to the act is a grassroots movement that has bolstered his organization. He said 52 out of the state’s 62 counties have passed resolutions against the law.