Press-Republican

Friday

October 5, 2012

Franklin County OKs testing of gun users

MALONE — Franklin County says it can profit from verifying the gun-handling proficiency of retired law-enforcement and correction officers who want to take weapons out of state.

The idea was approved by the County Legislature Thursday in a close vote.

RULE CHANGE

Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill says he’s been approached to provide this service by several retirees who travel to Florida and other states in the winter and want to carry a weapon with them when they go.

A federal law passed in 2004 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, called the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act and known as HR 218, allows such retirees to carry guns across state lines without violating state laws, he said.

In order to carry a weapon in New York state, the retired gun owner must have a pistol permit.

The federal law supersedes New York’s gun law and allows intra-state transport with the exception of carrying a weapon within the five boroughs of New York City and at federal parks.

Police and correction officers typically obtain pistol permits on the job and then, at retirement, continue owning personal weapons.

“Normally, if you’re in the business of law enforcement, you already have a pistol permit,” said Undersheriff Patrick White. “And under HR 218, you’re allowed to have it, but you have to qualify and be deemed proficient with the weapon.”

To qualify to carry a concealed weapon under HR 218, retirees must prove they have a pistol permit, worked in law enforcement for at least 10 years and separated from service in good standing.

They must also provide their own weapon and ammunition and arrange a test with a certified weapons instructor to prove their

proficiency in handling their weapon.

LIABILITY CONCERNS

A business in Massena in St. Lawrence County called RETLAW Personal Defense is owned by a retired federal officer and is the only other place besides Rockland County and Nassau County to offer proficiency testing.

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