Civil Liberties

NY Sheriff to Constituents: Keep Your Handguns and Toss the Permit Applications

Mass defiance of the new permit process is another monkey wrench tossed in the works.


Sheriff Lorey

A New York lawman is winning plaudits from gun owners over his stance on firearm regulation—he wants less of it. Fulton County Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey is already known as a supporter of the Second Amendment and a member of the Oath Keepers, an organization of military personnel and police officers who vow to refuse unconstitutional orders. Despite the Empire State's fame as a jurisdiction unfriendly to private gun ownership—or, really, any activity beyind the reach of government officials—Lorey isn't alone in his views. The New York State Sheriffs Association and individual sheriffs are already on record opposing tightened gun laws and suing the governor to block their enforcement. But Lorey goes a step further, and urges his constituents to defy the state's handgun permit law.

Sheriff Lorey volunteered his county to participate in the state's already stumbling permit recertification program. As a result, some Fulton County handgun owners will receive "invitations" to go online and renew their permits under the new system—a process that's supposed to occur ever five years.

"I'm asking everyone that gets those invitations to throw them in the garbage because that is where they belong," says Lorey in the video below. "They go in the garbage because, for 100 years or more, ever since the inception of pistol permits, nobody has ever been required to renew them."

But what's to be gained by volunteering the county and then urging people to toss the applications?

"Let's have everybody's permit expire the same day and let 'em see what they're going to do with it."

He adds that the State Police are behind schedule on acquiring computers and setting up infrastructure to enforce recertification. Mass defiance of the new permit process, then, is another monkey wrench tossed in the works.

Pending the collapse of the permitting system, and the outcome of the lawsuit mentioned above, Lorey added: "In the meantime, I want to assure you that everyone in Fulton County has nothing to fear from the sheriff's office."

Sheriff Lorey retires at the end of 2015, but he predicts that a like-minded judge will seek his office and continue his stance toward self-defense rights.