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December 5, 2013

Sheriffs oppose use of logos on SAFE website

Three local sheriffs said Monday they don’t want their county’s seals or logos used in a state website being designed for pistol permit recertification, adding another round of controversy to New York’s new gun laws.

One prong of the multi-faceted SAFE Act, enacted in Albany last January after the massacre of school children and teachers in Connecticut, requires that pistol permits be reviewed every five years. The permits, under the law, can be canceled if officials determine a gun owner is out of compliance with regulations.

That particular mandate went relatively unnoticed last year, as the more immediate impact from the legislation was on the owners and would-be purchasers of certain guns the SAFE Act classifies as assault weapons. The sale of those firearms is now banned.

On Wednesday, the Otsego County Board of Representatives is set to take up a proposed resolution that would call on the state to refrain from using the county seal or logo in the administration of the pistol permit recertification requirement. Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said he suggested the resolution after learning from the state Sheriff’s Association that state officials have discussed including county seals in a new website where handgun owners could apply for recertification.

“We feel this would make a lot of additional work for the county,” Devlin told The Daily Star. He said the county is not involved in promoting the SAFE Act and had no role in forcing pistol owners to recertify their permits every five years as the new law requires.

“People are going to end up thinking this is a county website when it’s not,” Devlin said. He added that he would prefer to see the legislation repealed by state lawmakers.

Thomas Mills and Tony Desmond, the sheriffs of Delaware and Schoharie counties, respectively, both said the state should refrain from putting any county’s seal on the pistol permit website unless it specifically receives the permission of the county in question.

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