© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Saratoga County Preparing To Issue Unrestricted Gun Permits

wikipedia commons

Officials in Saratoga County are working to put in place a concealed carry permit system.  Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he’s been in conversation with gun club owners and pistol permit holders in Saratoga County to establish the unrestricted permit program.

Under the program, permitted handgun owners for at least one year would be able to apply for a concealed carry permit. They’d be required to take a training course with a certified instructor. Zurlo said courses throughout the county would cover gun safety topics including storage, and physical force. There will be a written and a live-shooting component.

“Once that is complete and certified by the instructor, everything will be sent to Judge Murphy, who is the County Court judge who issues the permits, and it will be up to his discretion at that time to issue a conceal permit or not,” said Zurlo.

Zurlo said another background, mental health check, and fingerprints will be taken before a permit is issued by a judge.  Zurlo hopes the program will be up and running in the near future.

There are about 19,000 licensed handgun owners in Saratoga County. Handgun licenses allow owners to use the firearms for hunting and target-shooting. New York state law does not allow handguns to be carried openly.

Tom King, Executive Director of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said most upstate counties have issued concealed carry permits for years.

“Nationwide, reciprocity and concealed carry is going to be the thing of the future. There’s already 42 states that have shell issue permits and have reciprocity from other states, and New York and New Jersey and a couple of the eastern states are some of the last holdouts, but they always are because this is the bastion of the anti-gun liberal,” said King.

King said Albany County also does not regularly issue concealed carry licenses.

“And a lot of it depends on the politics and the beliefs and the judge, who is the ultimate issuing officer. So what our efforts have been is to elect judges we know to be pro Second Amendment.”

Pat Tuz, Capital Region coordinator for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said she believes that more guns do not make communities safer and that her organization condemns the over-distribution of guns.

“From what I understand, Saratoga County is taking extra steps in terms of training, so at the very least the people who are getting the permits will hopefully be better trained,” said Tuz.

New York has a “may-issue” law that requires gun owners who seek a concealed carry permit to prove a need for the protection. The law was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2012.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
Related Content