Issuance of pistol permits in Ulster County could shift from judges to sheriff
Pat Doxsey is reporting in the Daily Freeman Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum could become one of only a handful of sheriffs across the state with the power to issue pistol permits. A bill to that effect has been approved by the state Senate, and a similar bill is under consideration in the Assembly. VanBlarcum said allowing him to sign pistol permits would end a months-long backlog in the issuance of permits by judges. “It’s just a service to the taxpayers here. Right now, you might wait up to a year or more to have a judge sign a pistol permit," he said. At present pistol permits can be issued to Ulster County residents by the judges in County Court, Family Court, Surrogate’s Court and state Supreme Court. City of Kingston judges issue pistol permits to city residents. In a press release announcing the bill’s passage in the state Senate, Sen. John Bonacic called the measure a “common-sense piece of legislation.” Following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California in December, VanBlarcum made national news when he posted on the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page: “In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world, I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO.” VanBlarcum, a Democrat, was first elected sheriff in 2006. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.