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Niagara County: Pistol recertification town halls continue

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Thu, Nov 9th 2017 04:45 pm
Jastrzemski cites heavy turnout at Lewiston, NT seminars as he announces more around county
By Christian W. Peck
Public Information Officer
When Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski hosted two meetings addressing the pistol permit recertification requirement in the controversial NY SAFE Act in Lewiston and North Tonawanda last week, he was greeted by rooms packed to capacity.
That's why he will be holding further town hall meetings on the subject, he announced today, with meetings slated for sites in the towns of Niagara and Lockport.
"Gun owners are concerned about this requirement, and many of them have very specific questions and very unique circumstances," Jastrzemski said. "We're working to make sure they don't find their Second Amendment rights jeopardized.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's 2013 gun control law mandated pistol permit "recertification" on a five-year basis. The permits, issued for the life of the holder in most jurisdictions, now need to be "recertified" with the New York State Police by a Jan. 31, 2018, compliance deadline, and the more than 250 who attended Jastrzemski's first two town halls had plenty of questions about the new requirement.
Jastrzemski briefed Niagara County Legislature Chairman Wm. Keith McNall about turnout at last week's events, and the two agreed additional meetings around the county made sense, Jastrzemski said.
"Pistol permit holders like myself have a lot of questions and a lot of concerns about this unwelcome requirement from Gov. Cuomo's law," McNall said Wednesday morning. "Joe Jastrzemski and the Pistol Permit Office staff are making themselves available to our gun-owning public at these evening events and taking questions about the permit recertification rule imposed by the state so that our gun owners can protect their rights as fully as possible."
The first of two meetings is slated for Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Town of Niagara at the Calvin K. Richards Senior Center, 7000 Lockport Road. Jastrzemski will be joined by Legislator Jason A. Zona, D-Niagara Falls.
"Pistol permit holders have been asking us how to meet this obligation while protecting their rights to defend their families and protect their privacy," Zona said. "This is a very unpopular requirement imposed by the state, and our Pistol Permit Office is working to ensure our gun owners' rights are protected. We're glad to host them here and help answer our permit holders' questions."
Monday's town hall meeting will be followed by a second session on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Lockport Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road.
"As a pistol permit holder and a sporting enthusiast, I consider the SAFE Act an obnoxious intrusion, but I also want to make sure that it doesn't serve as an excuse for any of our residents to lose their guns," said Legislator Will Collins, R-Lockport. "We're encouraging our pistol owners to come out to Lockport Town Hall and ask their questions about this SAFE Act requirement. They'll be among likeminded friends all trying to figure out how to best deal with this law."
The meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Additional meetings are planned for other sites. Details will be announced at a later time.

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