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Home » » Sheriff Desmond: Will Not Enforce SAFE Act Pistol Provisions

Sheriff Desmond: Will Not Enforce SAFE Act Pistol Provisions

Written By Editor on 1/20/17 | 1/20/17

Fears Will Be Used for Confiscation

Sheriff Anthony Desmond took privilege of the floor at the January 20th County Board meeting to discuss his opposition to the NY Safe Act. The Sheriff recognized the Pistol Relicensing Clerk. “It’s a boondoggle of epic proportions.” He said that the state is attempting to build a database of the number of guns in the state. “The state is sending letters out saying that if you had a pistol permit before January 1, 2013 you have to reregister it by January 31, 2018.” He said that this process will cost the County money to enforce. He said that due to old records, many residents will not get these request. Due to this the State Police would attempt to find current addresses. If these are not found the County Sheriff would be tasked with finding the individuals.

“This is not a possibility,” said Desmond. In one case a clerk spent 25 minutes to find just one address. He said that the Clerk is already “buried in work” with current pistol permit requests. “I’m not running around the county or having anyone run around the County to find out where someone lives.” He asked the Board to continue not spending money to enforce the SAFE Act. Desmond is concerned that there could be gun confiscation in the long run, but that his office would not be involved.

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“The way it was set up by the Governor,” he said, the original plan was to route enforcement through the State Police but that the burden is falling back locally. “It’s not feasible at this time.” He said that resources would be better spent combating heroin. He added that residents that did not finish this process in time could be arrested for having the firearm they held for decades.

Supervisor Larry Bradt praised the Sheriff and his team for their actions. He said that other counties have taken similar actions in the past. He said that the County will stick with its original resolution against the SAFE Act.

“I’m not taking a firearm away from a decent, law abiding citizen under any circumstances,” said the Sheriff.

Former Sheriff and current Seward Town Supervisor John Bates said that he does not support the SAFE Act’s pistol provisions. However, he said that the State Police is clarifying their addresses, which is a complicated process. Bates, a nationally-recognized firearms expert, said that there have been mistakes in transfer of guns in the past. He said this included original Schoharie County pistol permits from the 1940s and 1950s which did not keep track of pistols under .50 caliber.

Supervisor Bradt said that he believes the gun control process will become worse and worse over the years, including restricting ammunition sales. He added that there were no instructions on the recertification form which makes it difficult for some individuals to complete. He added that he called the State Police for clarification but that often no one answers the phone. Marge Troidl asked who in a separated married couple would be contacted by the police for not renewing their permit. Supervisor McAllister said that his wife received a recertification letter but he did not. This process is being staggered by the State Police.

According to the Permit Licensing Clerk, the state originally promised that her office would not be impacted by the SAFE Act’s provisions. This has not been the case. She said that there have been 37 transactions directly related to these changes.
Former Sheriff Bates asked Sheriff Desmond who could revoke the pistol permit and if it was just the County Judge. Desmond said this was true. He said that since he is involved in every pistol permit issued it would be very hard to enforce it locally. “The shredder is very close to my desk,” he said.

A new resolution against the SAFE Act came before the Board, which was adopted unanimously. Supervisor Federice made another motion to support the Sheriff’s Office actions regarding SAFE Act enforcement, which was approved unanimously.

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