Several dozen again call on legislators to make St. Lawrence County '2nd Amendment sanctuary'
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 1:18 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week

CANTON -- A group of several dozen citizens again called on the St. Lawrence County legislature to declare the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

A Second Amendment sanctuary, sometimes called a gun sanctuary, means a county or municipality that passes a resolution against enforcing gun control measures that Second Amendment advocates see as unconstitutional.

Many of those who spoke also addressed the board during public comment last month and echoed their calls for action.

"Grassroots action is needed, such as this forum here, to reach Albany,” said William Nygard of Oswegatchie. "I support the removal of the SAFE Act ... in its entirety."

Seth Weiner of Canton told the board he was there to "represent a group of now over 300 strong citizen voters in St. Lawrence County know as the SLC Constitutionalists.”

"Our goal is the complete restoration of the Constitution, without caveat, without any compromise whatsoever,” he said to the board. "If you don't follow it, your authority [is] done."

Legislature Chairman Joseph Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, thanked the citizens for speaking and said the board in the past has supported local gun owners.

"Thank you for providing us with your take on the Constitution and the laws of the state of New York,” Lightfoot said. "We had nothing to do with making those laws. Nothing.”

"We are aware of what your feelings are. We respect them,” he said.

Later in the meeting, the board passed resolutions applauding the new pistol licensing officer, Judge Tatiana Coffinger, for establishing a process by which people in St. Lawrence County with pistol licenses can petition the court to have restrictions removed.

They also voted to spend $5,300 to create a pistol safety course to be offered through the Sheriff’s Office. Pistol licensees will be able to take the course in exchange for potentially having restrictions removed.