One sheriff in New York is pleading with residents in his county who have a CCW license to start carrying all the time.
Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum released a message via the Ulster County Sheriff's Office official Facebook page Thursday, according to this story from the Times Herald-Record, saying, "In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world, I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO."
The sheriff told citizens to "responsibly take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm." He says there are more than 10,000 licensed handgun owners in Ulster County.
"Look at all the mass shootings around; people are getting slaughtered and nobody has a gun," Van Blarcum said in the story. "If you don't have a gun, you're useless."
Van Blarcum, who made the same request of retired and off-duty police officers, went on to say in the story that people with carry permits should be comfortable and proficient with their firearm, and knowledgeable of all the laws in New York regarding when it is legal to use a deadly weapon.
In the story, Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff agreed that licensed gun owners should carry their guns "if they feel that they are comfortable and proficient to do so," adding that police can't be everywhere.
The Police chief of Ulster County's Middletown, Ramon Bethencourt, called Van Blarcum's comments "completely irresponsible" and that the suggestion erodes the public trust in the ability of police to respond to handle situations, the story says.
"He's basically telling people who have no professional training in combating suspects or stopping lethal threats to carry weapons and take actions they may not even be capable of," Bethencourt said.