Newsday New York Article, I am quoted

This is the link to the article: http://newyork.newsday.com/westchester/a-hello-to-arms-more-in-hudson-valley-get-handgun-permits-1.4208662 Thanks to Jacob on Facebook for the heads up: http://www.facebook.com/NYSRPA

Please log on and leave a comment.  I don’t understand Jackie Hilly’s comment.  What part of “more than 99,000 handgun permits were issued in New York State” doesn’t she understand.  It does not say ‘99,000 permits were issued and/or renewed.’  Hilly wants NYC rules were a permit cost $340 every 3 years, it is only good in your county, it is only good for your house, if you want a gun at your business then you have to get another license and another gun, …  Every rule the anti-gunners want.  At the gun show today I had one person from NYC tell me that they would not renew his long gun license, (yes, you have to have a long gun license and list your long guns in NYC,) because one of his guns looked “intimidating.”  He was forced to sell his rifle because of the way it looked even though it complied with all of the regulations.

I would give the writer a 93% on what I said.  It was close enough.  All in all the article was good except the picture was not very good and I think he was breaking some safety rules because it looks like he has his finger on the trigger.  NY’s rules and regulations and local requirements are stupid and repressive.  Why should someone wait 3 months-6 months – a year or more just to have  a pistol license when in other states you can walk in off the street, have a background check done and walk out in 15 minutes?

A hello to arms: More in Hudson Valley get handgun permits

Originally published: November 10, 2012 10:42 AM
Updated: November 10, 2012 7:47 PM
By TIMOTHY O’CONNOR  timothy.oconnor@cablevision.com

Larry Verdi, 60, of Sleepy Hollow owns 18

Photo credit: Elizabeth Daza | Larry Verdi, 60, of Sleepy Hollow owns 18 guns and got his first gun permit in 1973. Says Verdi, “A lot of people are misinformed. You go through a year process here before you can get a permit. In other places, all you need is a driver’s license.” He is pictured holding a 45 STI pistol at the Coyne Park Range in Yonkers. (Oct. 26, 2012)

In the six Hudson Valley counties north of New York City, 14,293 people received handgun permits in the last five years.

Vincent Acocella was one of them.

The retired Pearl River architect believes in staunch gun control laws. He said the last thing New York or any state needs is anyone walking in off the street to pick up a handgun with no questions asked. But a couple years ago, the 69-year-old Acocella went through all the necessary paperwork, the gathering of references, and the gun safety course required for a permit in Rockland County.

“I like to shoot,” he said. “It’s fun. I’ve been a hunter for 50 years. I’m getting on in years and I thought it might be easier to hunt with a handgun than with a rifle.”

Crime has plummeted throughout the state over the past several years — and fear of crime has waned — but many thousands of people in New York still apply for and receive gun permits.

Over the past five years, more than 99,000 handgun permits were issued in New York State, according to the New York State Police Pistol Permit Bureau. Individuals apply for permits through their home counties, not through the State Police, but the Pistol Permit Bureau is charged with keeping the records.

That’s nearly double the number of handgun permits issued throughout the state during the previous five years. From 2002 through 2006 — before the economic crash, 58,166 handgun permits were issued in New York State, according to State Police statistics.

George Rogero of Washingtonville, a certified gun safety training expert, said his business has quadrupled in the last several years, as applicants have lined up for the safety training that is a prerequisite for a gun license.

Rogero sees shooting as a sport.

“That’s the part that anti-gun people don’t understand,” he said. “Most people shoot because it’s fun. It’s an Olympic sport. Being a good shooter is like any other skill. And developing that skill is fun.”

Rogero, who has been a National Rifle Association certified gun safety instructor for more than 15 years, said people used to come to him saying they were applying for a gun permit for a feeling of personal safety.

Now, he said, he hears more and more people saying they just like to shoot.

RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS DIFFER

License holders in most New York counties get their licenses for life. But Westchester County requires licenses to be renewed every five years, as do Nassau and Suffolk counties. And New York City requires license renewal every three years.

Because renewal requirements are in force in only part of the state — and uneven, where they are in force — it’s difficult to tell what percentage of the 99,059 permits issued in the last five years are for new gun owners, said Jackie Hilly, president of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

She said the renewal requirement should extend beyond New York City and its immediate suburbs to the entire state.

“We’d like to see a five-year renewal become the minimum, with counties free to have requirements of 3 years or so as New York City does,” she said.

Experts say the popularity of guns in the Hudson Valley is in sync with the nation. Last year, nearly 11 million firearms were sold in the United States, according to the FBI and gun industry records.

According to the FBI, violent crime was down by 4 percent last year, and has been trending down for about a decade, but during the same period, gun sales have increased by more than 50 percent nationally, according to the FBI and gun industry statistics.

BROAD CROSS SECTION

Rogero said the people who come to him for the gun safety class are a cross-section of the state — men and women, professionals and blue-collar workers, young and old.

“There’s not a stereotypical or definable gun owner,” he said.

xxxxxx, xxxxxx, a 28-year-old makeup artist and public relations specialist from Mamaroneck, fits no one’s image of a gunslinger.

But four years ago, she applied for and received a handgun permit.

“I just wanted it for target shooting,” she said. “I like to shoot. It’s fun.”

She owns a 9 mm handgun that she keeps locked up in her home.

Getting the permit involved putting down $10 just for the application, then securing four references to attest to her character and stability. She also took a 90-minute gun safety class, she said. About six months later, she was approved. She paid $130 for fingerprinting and photos for the license and had her permit.

“It was a time-consuming process, but I think it was fair,” she said. Like Acocella, she thinks there should be controls over who is allowed to carry a gun and wouldn’t mind seeing the laws toughened up.

“It’s time-consuming now,” she said. “But it’s not difficult.”

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