Some gun permit holders up in arms over Judge’s denial to allow concealed weapons
In the past, gun permits were issued without controversy -- that was until last month. Citing New York State law, Wayne County Republican Court Judge Dennis Kehoe has systematically awarded over 200 gun permits with a stipulation that they cannot be carried as concealed weapons. Judge Kehoe is the only one of three sitting judges to deny permit holders the option to carry a permitted gun as a concealed weapon under terms of the permit.
The decision by Judge Kehoe became a hot topic at Wednesday night’s S.C.O.P.E. (Shooters Committee On Political Education), the local National Rifle Association (NRA) chapter. The group hosted the three Republican candidates for County offices in the upcoming November election. All three candidates addressed the Judge Kehoe letter and denial to allow permit holders to carry concealed weapons.
Republican County Clerk incumbent Mike Jankowski, himself a S.C.O.P E. member stated “The second Amendment is very important to me.”
Running mate on the Republican slate of County candidates, Barry Virts, who hopes to be Sheriff, indicated that Jankowski has made tremendous strides in streamlining the process for permits and making amendments (additional guns) to a gun owner’s permit easier. Daniel Barrett, seeking the seat of retiring County Judge Stephen Sirkin, said he has discussed the permit issue with Judge Kehoe and hoped for standardized procedures among the three County Judges.
Jankowski said, after the meeting, that he believes only Judge Kehoe, in all the surrounding counties, interprets the state law in such a fashion to deny applicants the right to carry a concealed gun.
S.C.O.P.E. member Jim Quinn said that perhaps someone should give Judge Kehoe of copy of the U.S. Constitution so the Judge could read the Second Amendment.
Judge Kehoe did not respond to calls from the Times concerning his decision on issuing permits.
Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy indicated the County Judge was concerned about the huge increase in permit seekers. According to numbers supplied by the County Clerk’s Office, permit applications have over doubled from 2008 to 2009 for the five month period from january to may. A total of 454 persons have filed for permits so far this year in Wayne County. In addition, the number of current permit holders increasing the number of guns on their permits (applying for amendments to their current permits) has increased from 371 for the five month period in 2008 to 539 so far this year.
Jankowski indicated that he saw no clear reason why the number of permit applications has skyrocketed, except for the election of President Barack Obama and the fear his administration may curb permits for handguns and the sale of additional guns to qualified citizens.Saturday, 13 June 2009 05:58
Copyright © 2009. Times of Wayne County.