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September 22, 2022 - 8:10am

Concealed Carry revisions are no improvement, county 'vehemently' opposes

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There’s no concealing their opposition to the newly enacted Concealed Carry Improvement Act as Genesee County legislators unanimously agreed Wednesday to sign a resolution stating the Act is unconstitutional.

Public Services Committee Chairman Gary Maha believes the act was put together quickly in the aftermath of mass shootings, and it penalizes the wrong people.

“I think it really hurts law-abiding citizens,” he said. “If (criminals) want a gun, they’re going to get a gun.”

Fellow legislators Marianne Clattenburg and John Deleo agreed.

“I think it hurts the honest guy,” Deleo said.

The revisions seem to be “putting up barriers,” Clattenburg said, pointing to the new requirements of training, an interview and having to provide many personal details of one's household. 

“It’s a barrier to your rights,” she said.

They underscored the prominence of the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and how the Concealed Carry is no improvement act. The Second Amendment states that “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The legislators’ resolution states that the act “presents procedural roadblocks in the form of privacy violation, subjective standards, financial burdens, and overt restrictions on individuals seeking to exercise a fundamental right.”

A subdivision of the law was added to state that no license shall be issued or renewed pursuant to this section except by the licensing officer, and then only after investigation and finding that all statements in a proper application for a license are true. No license shall be issued or renewed except for an applicant 21 years or older (military veterans honorably discharged are exempt from the age requirement), and be of good moral character, which means having the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others.

Those with a license shall be required to complete training prior to recertification and must submit to an interview with the licensing officer and provide the following:

  • Names and contact information for the applicant’s current spouse, or domestic partner and any other adults residing in the home, including any adult children of the applicant and status of them residing there full- or part-time;
  • Names and contact information of no less than four character references who can attest to the applicant’s good moral character and that such applicant has not engaged in any acts, or made any statements, that suggest they are likely to engage in conduct to result in harm to themselves or others;
  • Proof of certification of training;
  • A list of former and current social media accounts of the applicant from the past three years to confirm the information regarding the applicant’s character and conduct.

Not only will the Legislature “vehemently, adamantly and with full resolve” oppose what members believe are “ill-advised provisions,” of the act, but they will also work with other counties to demand its full repeal based on being “unjust, ineffective, vague and unconstitutional.”

As a longstanding defender of citizen rights and the Constitution, the Legislature calls on all other municipalities in the state — and any advocates for freedom and liberty — to challenge this law “by any means possible as unconstitutional,” legislators agreed.

Copies of the county’s resolution will be sent to several state representatives, including Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and state Senators George Borrello and Edward Rath III.

Hochul signed this law on July 1 after what the county Legislature believes was “surreptitiously rushed bills and through to passage under a message of necessity and during an extraordinary session bypassing the traditional rules and procedures of the state legislature. The law then went into effect on Sept. 1, placing “unprecedented and overtly restrictive conditions on applying for, obtaining, utilizing, maintaining and recertifying a conceal carry permit for personal protection and other legal uses as clearly provided for in the Constitution of the United States,” the county’s resolution states.

To read the full law, go to Concealed Carry.

Photo: Members of the county's Public Service Committee, led by Chairman Gary Maha, head of the table, discuss and vote on a resolution opposing the newly adopted Concealed Carry Improvement Act. Photo by Joanne Beck.

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