BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Authorities have established a new law for gun owners in Saratoga County.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Michael Zurlo announced that a pathway has been established for law abiding gun owners in Saratoga County to acquire an unrestricted pistol permit.
“It hasn’t happened in about 40 to 50 years,” NRA certified instructor Gerard Moser said.
Beginning Monday August 17, people who have owned a pistol permit in Saratoga County for a minimum of one year will be able to register for the ‘Advanced Firearms Course’ which will be required for anyone wishing to obtain an unrestricted pistol permit.
The course was designed with input from all involved parties including several NRA instructors from various gun clubs.
Up until now, Moser said Saratoga County was very restrictive when it came to pistol licenses.
“You could go hunting, take your firearm to the field, or you could go to the range,” Moser explained. “And that was pretty much it other than having it in your home.”
Moser is one of the people who worked with the sheriff’s office and county court to create a training course for gun owners.
“You would have to go home first before running an errant at a store,” he said. “Now you can actually make those stops and be legal with it and have no issues.”
If people who have had a pistol license for at least one year complete the eight-hour training course, it will lift pistol license restrictions. Moser is one of the course instructors.
He said the course will start with a four-hour class followed by a one hour test.
“On how well you can handle and demonstrate your handling of a firearm is a safe manner,” he said.
The training will end with a three hour course at the firing range. But even after the course is complete, there will be another background check on the applicant.
The background check requirement appeases some SAFE Act supporters because, while unrestricted, some areas are still off limits.
“Individuals are not allowed to bring guns onto school property, so the sheriff is doing more than most for making applicants undergo supervised live fire training and classroom work,” Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said.
Registration for the course is open. Moser said the first class is set to being August 22.
Resident permit holders wishing to register for a course should visit their website, here. It will include a link to download an information packet on the Advanced Firearms Course as well as links to the various gun clubs and training centers to register for the courses.
All courses are being offered directly by the gun clubs.