An upstate New York sheriff is encouraging residents of his county to ignore the state’s handgun licensing law.
Sheriff Thomas Lorey told a gathering of Oath Keepers that he volunteered Fulton County to take part in a pilot program for a new state system for updating handgun licenses.
“They’re going to send out 500 invitations in my county, and that’s all they are is invitations,” Lorey told the group. “The invitation is going to ask if you’d like to renew early and go online and get on their Facebook page or whatever it is and renew your permit. I’m asking everybody to gets those invitations to throw them in the garbage, because that’s where they belong.”
Lorey, an outspoken Second Amendment advocate, believes the law is unconstitutional.
“They go in the garbage because, for 100 years or more, since the inception of pistol permits, nobody’s ever been required to renew them,” the sheriff said. “It’s a ridiculous way that’s going to cost you money at some point in your life, even when though they say it isn’t.”
The NY SAFE Act, passed in 2013, requires all handgun permit holders to be recertified by 2018 and then update their permits every five years with their local county clerk or sheriff.
“I want everybody to understand if you get a letter like that, don’t do it,” Lorey said. “Let’s have everybody’s permit expire on the same day and let them see what they’re going to do with it.”
Oath Keepers are made up mostly of retired or active-duty law enforcement or military personnel who have pledged not to enforce or obey gun restrictions or other laws they deem unconstitutional.
Lorey said he expected a court to eventually strike down at least portions of the law, which has been challenged by gun-rights advocates.
“In the meantime, I want to assure you that everybody in Fulton County has nothing to fear from the sheriff’s office,” Lorey said. “We have real criminals and real crime to occupy our time with.”
Watch Lorey’s speech posted online by Mert Melfa: