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October 5, 2012

Franklin County OKs testing of gun users

(Continued)

County legislators were concerned during discussions Thursday that there must be a reason so few counties are offering this.

They fear that the potential liability is a real threat, but that argument was defeated in a 4-to-3 vote that gave Mulverhill permission to conduct the specialized testing as a one-year trial.

COUNTY FEE

Deputy Sgt. Scott Hudson is designated as the weapons trainer for the Sheriff’s Department, and Mulverhill is in negotiations with the Malone Fish and Game Club to use its shooting range for testing.

Once proficiency is verified, a photo-identification card is issued with the type of weapon the person qualified with and the expiration date of the permit.

It is issued for a year and must be renewed annually.

Each person would be charged $50 for the application to take the skills test and $10 for the one-day game-club membership needed to use the firing range.

“We’re not issuing guns to people; we’re verifying their proficiency,” Mulverhill said.

“I see this as revenue for the county. How much, I don’t know, but there is potential there.”

Classes would be held when enough people were interested in it and when Hudson was working his regular shift so it would not cost the county extra, the sheriff said.

“And at $50 with three or four people a day, (Hudson’s) salary would be covered,” he said.

OPPOSED

Legislators Paul Maroun (R-Tupper Lake), Guy “Tim” Smith (D-Fort Covington) and Sue Robideau (R-Brushton) voted against the idea.

“I’m opposed because you open up possible liability to the county,” Maroun said, adding there is no guarantee that the person’s mental state at the time the pistol permit was issued is the same as when they retire.

“I think we should look into it further,” he said. “We’re giving retired COs and State Police license to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the United States of America.

“I hope our taxpayers are not held liable.”

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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