Sheriff wants deputies to train pistol permit applicants

March 29, 2018 06:22 PM

ALBANY - Before you can own a pistol, the Albany County sheriff wants it to be his deputies who teach you how to handle, store, load and shoot.

"I guarantee we can make things better and safer with this program," believes Sheriff Craig Apple.

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Proof of instruction is currently required before a pistol permit is granted.  But classes are held at a variety of ranges with, according to the sheriff, no oversight and not a lot of uniformity.

"There are no regulations at all.  You come to us with a certificate that says 'I took it.'  For all I know somebody just gave it to you," worries Apple.  "I think it would be more proficient than classes out there now, yes."

The class would be free and, according to the sheriff, his deputies are constantly updating their skills and, of course, know the law.  Apple calls it a safety issue - both for the gun owner and the general public.

"I believe any responsible gun owner would want training.  I don't have a problem with training requirements," said Don Mennillo, a staff member and gun owner at NY Shooter Supply on Central Avenue in Colonie.

Apple is proposing a 24 month pilot program for Albany County and it would require the state Legislature's approval.

"I want people to know how to handle a weapon and be comfortable with the weapon," added Apple.

Apple says in previous years, the proposal was supported by members of the Senate but not the Assembly.


Abigail Bleck

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