Warren County supervisors don’t want county gun owners to think they had anything to do with the state’s controversial Safe Act gun laws.
County supervisors followed the lead of others around upstate New York who have requested that State Police not use county letterheads or seals when sending out paperwork to handgun owners to renew their pistol permits.
Handgun owners around the state will receive renewal forms in the coming months, as part of a Safe Act change requiring that permits be renewed every five years.
Those forms were supposed to show some sort of county letterhead or emblem such as the county seal of the county in which the permit holder lives, but when word was received by county officials, they began voicing opposition it.
The Ontario County Board of Supervisors acted unanimously Thursday night – after the single spirited discussion of the evening – to preclude New York State from using the Ontario County seal on any correspondence involving New York’s newest gun-control legislation, the SAFE Act.
“In recent discussions, the state has indicated an interest in using the Seal of Ontario County and the names of the offices of the Ontario County Sheriff and Ontario County Clerk in pistol permit recertification notices,” the resolution notes, adding that the sheriff and county clerk “have voiced their strong objection to this request and suggestion.”
The Livingston County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Wednesday opposing the state’s use of the county seal on any correspondence related to the New York SAFE Act sent to pistol permit holders.
State Police last month began mailing pistol permit recertification letters to handgun owners. The letters are sent on stationary with the seal or letterhead of the county in which the pistol permit holder resides.
The resolution “denies the State of New York permission to use the name, letterhead, address, logo or seal of the County of Livingston, the Livingston County Sheriff and the Livingston County Clerk for purposes of correspondence with or notices to legal and registered gun owners regarding permit recertification or for any other purposes associated with the SAFE Act,” according to the resolution text.
[A]t the Ways and means meeting, the legislature approved a resolution to deny the use of County insignia on any material concerning the SAFE Act.
The legislature formally called for the gun control law’s repeal a year ago. Now it’s joined the chorus in not using the county or sheriff’s seal or letterhead on any application for pistol permit recertification as part of the SAFE Act’s implementation.
[The] board unanimously approved 15 of the 16 resolutions before them with minimal discussion. The exception to this was resolution number 31, which proposed to ‘deny the State of New York permission to use the seal of the County of Saratoga, the Saratoga County Sheriff and the Saratoga County Clerk for any purpose associated with the New York State SAFE act.’ The controversial SAFE act requires licensed gun owners to recertify all firearms within a period of five years. The resolution passed. Voting against the resolution were Supervisors Peter Martin of Saratoga Springs and supervisor Preston Jenkins of Moreau.
Orleans County won’t let the State of New York use the county seal for any enforcement efforts with the SAFE Act, a controversial gun control measure approved by the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last January.
State officials want to use county seals with the state seal on pistol recertification notices. Orleans doesn’t want its seal associated with the SAFE Act.
The county also doesn’t want to devote its resources, whether law enforcement or at the county clerks’ office, to enforcing and processing the SAFE Act.
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Herkimer County isn’t going to associate any of its logos with the SAFE Act.
The county Legislature recently voted 13-2, with two absentees, to oppose the use of the Herkimer County seal or logo in connection to the pistol permit recertification put in place by the state’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
Chairman of the Legislature Vincent Bono, R-Schuyler, said it was brought forth by county Sheriff Christopher Farber and many counties are enacting the same resolution.
“Whenever someone goes through the New York SAFE Act resolution, it will ask which county (they’re from),” he said. “It uses the county logo. We don’t want our county affiliated with the SAFE Act.”
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Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus said he voted in November for a resolution banning the state from using county seals in his SAFE Act promotions.
“I voted for, and the (state) Clerks Association unanimously passed, a resolution opposed to the use of county seals regarding the SAFE Act,” Backus said.
“Quite honestly, it’s another example of how flawed this law is that the governor shoved through the legislature,” Backus said. “It was advertised to have no financial impact on counties and that has been proven to be false.”
Correction to article: As of December 26th 2013, this news article is incorrect about the number of counties objecting to use of their county seal or logo in conjunction with state SAFE act communications. 52 counties have opposed the so called SAFE act, but the movement to pass resolutions regarding use of county seal or logo is just beginning at this point. We are keeping a separate list of county seal resolutions; click to see the current total.
Earlier this month, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors joined 56 other New York State counties by passing a resolution objecting to the use of the county’s seal or logo on the state’s website associated with SAFE Act required pistol permit recertifications or any other SAFE Act associated websites or literature.
County officials expressed particular frustration and, in some cases, anger over the additional resources the law is requiring from county officials, including the sheriff and county clerk, in enforcing a law which was supposed to be the responsibility of the state.
“It’s just another unfunded mandate from Albany”, said Davenport Supervisor Dennis Valente. “And the state seems to be handling it with the same amount of efficiency they are using with the STAR program.”
Middletown Supervisor Marjorie Miller was the only supervisor present at the meeting to vote against the resolution.