Essex County Government Center, Elizabethtown
Photo by Andy Flynn.
“I’m not changing anything at this point,” Meyer said. “Not until I hear from someone that I have to.”
Meyer said he has never had an incident in which an individual with the right to carry a pistol concealed was found to have acted incorrectly in the use of their weapon.
“I’ve never had a problem,” he said. “I’m going to continue allowing it.”
Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting echoed the judge’s statement, saying that in his 36 years of local law enforcement he cannot recall a single problem with a law abiding pistol permit holder.
At times, permits and guns have been taken from individuals pending the disposition of a crime or an order of protection, Cutting said, but not for the misuse of the right to carry a pistol concealed.
Meyer acknowledged that the pistol permit process from one county to the next is currently anything but uniform. Restrictions are left to the discretion of the sitting county judge.
“This is an emotional issue and there is a lot of confusion out there,” Meyer said.
Cutting provided a survey compiled by the New York State Sheriff’s Association that outlines the pistol permit policy of 34 out of 62 total counties in New York. Of those surveyed, 10 allow the ability to carry a concealed pistol in public, with the permission of the county judge. Most only allow permits restricted to hunting, target shooting and home defense, unless a citizen can prove an “exceptional circumstance” that would require the need to carry a concealed weapon.
Clinton County, for example, allows permits for “sportsman purposes only.” Franklin and Hamilton counties, on the other hand, still issue full concealed carry permits, while Warren County issues both restricted permits as well as conceal carry permits at the discretion of the county judge.