Officials express ‘serious concern’ over gun law | News, Sports, Jobs

PLATTSBURGH — Politicians and local officials are asking the governor’s office for further clarification on new concealed carry legislation that goes into effect tomorrow.

Legislation (A41001/S51001), passed in early July, aims to strengthen New York’s gun laws and increase restrictions on the concealed carry of weapons in sensitive areas of the state, including public parks .

The inclusion of public parks in the legislation immediately raised questions from politicians and residents about what it will mean for those in Adirondack Park – living or visiting – who are currently legally concealing transportation and whether, on September 1, will it be illegal for them to continue doing so? and will they be in danger of being charged with a Class E felony for possession of a concealed weapon?

“Areas of great concern”

Just one day before the legislation takes effect, State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake), State Assemblyman Matt Simpson (R- Horicon) and representatives from the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board and the Adirondack Villages Association of Towns and Villages (AATV) say these issues, along with many others, remain unresolved. clear.

“We have a few different areas of serious concern,” Jones said during a press conference at the Peru Boat Launch on Tuesday.

“And one is how does that affect public parks and how the definition of public parks is going to apply to Adirondack Park. and I know…most people here are very frustrated with some response or non-response we get on this.

Jones also noted that A41001/S51001 will require New Yorkers seeking to complete the concealed carry authorization process to meet new training requirements.

“There are training requirements here that we, quite frankly, don’t know if we have the capacity to meet those training requirements for our pistol-licensed citizens. They need to requalify and train. Previously it was five years, the training was never implemented, now it is three years”, he said.

“Our question is, and we need to know, who is qualified to train these people? How will they follow the training? I know that in my little home county of Franklin County…we have 7,000 people who are gun licenses carrying law abiding citizens.

“What is the training capacity in Franklin County? It’s not that great, and it’s nobody’s fault, but how are we going to qualify these people with this training? »

‘I can’t tell you’

Simpson, who has held a concealed carry license for more than 30 years, said he was among those concerned about the legality of concealed carry.

“I’m a sportsman and this time of year, we’re approaching September, it’s a time when fall hunters and anglers go back into the woods when it gets colder and one of the things they have which they have been able to enjoy exercises their right with duly authorized concealed carry”, said Simpson.

“Now a lot of the places we go are miles and miles away in the woods, one of my favorite trout ponds is seven miles away, and right now I can’t tell you if I’m legally allowed to have my handgun with me as I have for 30 years.

Another area of ​​concern in the new gun laws, raised by Simpson, is the concealment of carry in local businesses and how this appears to be affected in the future.

“…In New York State, a business has to declare whether or not firearms are okay, rather than someone (a business) stating that firearms are prohibited. To me, that really should be the opposite, otherwise you have to assume that every place you go, without a sign, is no guns allowed,” he said.

“We really need clarification and we need it immediately. There are too many people at risk here who have been law-abiding, law-abiding citizens and now…they don’t know where they stand.

No time for typing

Shawn Gilliland, vice president of AATV, said the newly enacted gun legislation should not have been drafted without receiving input from those who will be directly affected.

“The Legislature didn’t even give him time to comment publicly. So no one, no law-abiding citizen who has a concealed carry permit, or any gun owner in New York State, has had the opportunity to contribute to it,” Gilliland said.

“The state had…the redistricting commission that went around and talked statewide to its citizens about redistricting…and then you have another example (with) the Farmworkers Overtime Act, they’ve been all over the state talking to farming interests about it, but they haven’t given this particular law the courtesy of letting New Yorkers speak out.

“Well now we’re here to demand we can talk.”

Impacted “on a daily basis”

There are only two counties that reside entirely within the blue line of Adirondack Park: Essex and Hamilton counties.

Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian Wells was at the press conference to speak on behalf of Hamilton County and how residents will be affected when this bill takes effect.

“Hamilton County is in the park (Adirondack), given the geographic size of our school and our sparse population, if the law is enacted, we will be impacted every day,” says Wells.

“The possibility of having fundamental constitutional rights will be gone. From our hunting heritage to our ability to protect our loved ones…I would ask the Governor not to sign this flawed legislation, to go back to the drawing board and enact legislation that would be effective in ending gun violence and not persecute law-abiding citizens. ”

Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board Executive Director Jerry Delaney stressed that this gun legislation is not a bipartisan issue but a cultural one.

“I would like to point out (that) behind me are both Democrats and Republicans,” said Delaney.

“It’s not a political issue, it’s a cultural issue within the Adirondacks. The Adirondack people were born into a culture of hunting, fishing and the outdoors and this law, unfortunately, hits that culture directly. .

“We have citizens who honestly worry about whether or not they are going to commit a crime as they travel down the road.”

‘How do you handle this?’

Delaney raised several questions he still has regarding future trips to the Adirondacks Park and issues with private land.

“When you drive on a national road with forest reserves on both sides, you are in a forest reserve… which becomes a park. How do we deal with this problem? How do we deal with private lands that have conservation easements…? Is it a park or is it private land?

“Can the private landowner now continue to have their leases there that will allow the carrying of concealed weapons during the hunting season? Or is the state now taking away more economic benefits from these landowners, because it is partly run by the state? Does that mean it’s part of the park?

“There are so many questions for this unique area of ​​this region that have not been answered and, truth be told, unfortunately, again the state does not want to answer these questions. They want to impose legislation on culturally different people and expect us to agree and comply with it. But the state has a responsibility to tell us what the rules are, instead of letting us find out by mistake.

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