St. Lawrence County legislature committee approves Sheriff's Office pistol safety course
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 1:05 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week

CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County legislature's operations committee voted to spend $5,361 to create a gun safety educational program that will be offered through the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

The resolution passed 13-0 with legislators Tony Arquiett, D-Helena, and Jim Reagen, R-Ogdensburg, excused from the meeting. It still has to go before the full Board of Legislators for final approval.

Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe in an interview on Thursday, Feb. 6 said the course is to help pistol permit holders qualify for concealed carry licenses.

Judge Tatiana Coffinger is temporarily filling in for now-retired Judge Jerome Richards. Richards received criticism for being strict on issuing restrictions with pistol permits. Judge Coffinger has "released a memorandum announcing that she would entertain applications for removal of previously imposed restrictions based upon the applicants' ability to demonstrate appropriate gun safety education," the resolution reads.

"I think the sheriff and the Sheriff's Office, when it comes to safety of our citizens, should be at the forefront. Just like the name says, it's a pistol permit safety course," Bigwarfe said.

He said people will be able to choose to take a different pistol safety course offered through another entity if they choose.

"It's not mandated," he said.

The Sheriff's Office course will cost $30 and last about three or four hours.

""It will talk about how to handle guns safely, how to safekeep your gun, shooting your gun safely. There's also another part about civilian use of force, it's called Article 35, what the use of force can be for a firearm. I think is goes along with the Second Amendment right" to bear arms," Bigwarfe said.