Wyoming County wants no role in SAFE Act

When state officials contact pistol permit holders about recertifications, they won’t be using Wyoming County imagery.

The county’s Board of Supervisors has denied permission for the state to use the county’s name, seal, letterhead or address during the process — or for any other purpose associated with the N.Y. SAFE Act.

“I guess at first it goes back to the county clerk and the sheriff,” said Chairman Douglas Berwanger. “That seal belongs to them when they take office. They do not support the SAFE Act, and each official brought their concerns to the committee.

“(This kind of measure) is not new to New York state,” Berwanger continued. “There are other counties that have done this, so we had that template to follow, and we passed it.”

Under the SAFE Act, handgun owners must now have their pistol permits recertified every five years. The permits were previously effective for a person’s lifetime, barring criminal behavior or similar disqualifiers.

The law has proven highly-controversial, especially in upstate and rural areas. Numerous Board of Supervisors members spoke against it this past February, before passing a resolution stating their opposition.

“Once again, if the state wants to be responsible for the SAFE Act, then they should put their name and seal on it, not Wyoming County’s,” Berwanger said. “ … It gives the impression the county condones the SAFE Act or accepts it, and that’s not the case.”

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