Catskill's Bulich wants elected officials to be able to bring guns to meetings
Ted Remsnyder is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Greene County Legislator Michael Bulich has proposed a measure that would allow county lawmakers to carry firearms at public meetings. The Catskill Republican made the proposal in a discussion held at a meeting of the Legislature committees on January 18. The conversation focused on a resolution stating that only members of the New York State Police, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, or any village or town police department in the county be allowed to carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, onto county property. In that discussion, Bulich argued that an exception should be made for elected officials. “I think there should be an amendment to this resolution that allows elected officials who are licensed to carry to do so if they so choose in this building,” he said. “We do come here after hours. I’m duly trained and I’m pretty confident in myself to protect myself." Bulich said later that he wants the right to defend himself if an incident occurs during a Legislature meeting. “It’s important that I’m able to defend myself, not just having security at the front desk,” he said. “I’m a law-abiding citizen with a pistol permit. I’m very comfortable with a pistol and I should be afforded that right to be able to protect myself.” Bulich pointed out that he's uncomfortable sitting with his back to the door during meetings held after 4:30 p.m. when sheriff's deputies were no longer stationed in the building. During the meeting, Coxsackie Republican Charles Martinez, seconded Bulich's motion before Greene County Attorney Edward Kaplan suggested that if an amendment was made the Legislature define which elected officials would be permitted to carry firearms. Kaplan suggested the amendment be limited to members of the Legislature, with Cairo Democrat Harry Lennon adding that it should only be applied to current members of the body. When asked, Kaplan agreed to investigate whether the proposed policy would create problems with the county's insurance coverage. The Legislature eventually approved the original resolution unanimously. Builch said in lieu of amending the newly approved resolution, that the right of a legislator to bear arms on county property could be added to their job descriptions. The lawmakers are exploring that option. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.