“Licensed gun owners should carry their licensed handguns if they feel that they are comfortable and proficient enough to do so,” Sullivan County (N.Y.) Sheriff Michael Schiff said on Thursday.
He made the announcement shortly after Ulster County (N.Y.) Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum urged licensed gun owners to carry their weapons -- "in light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world."
“I concur with Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum that licensed gun owners should carry their licensed handguns if they feel that they are comfortable and proficient enough to do so. They should also be familiar with State and local laws that govern firearms and the use of deadly physical force,” Sheriff Schiff said in a Facebook post.
“I also join Sheriff Van Blarcum in urging off duty police/peace officers and qualified retired law enforcement personnel to carry their firearms as well.
“The police cannot be everywhere. The second amendment and the laws of New York State give citizens the tools to defend themselves and their families from harm, until law enforcement can arrive on the scene.
"Given the recent attacks in our country and abroad, citizens should be aware of their surroundings, exercise vigilance and not be afraid to report any suspicious activity.
If you see something, say something.”
Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum's Facebook post was directed to "licensed handgun owners."
"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.
"I urge you to responsibly take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm. To ensure the safety of yourself and others, make sure you are comfortable and proficient with your weapon, and knowledgeable of the laws in New York State with regards to carrying a weapon and when it is legal to use it.
I also want to remind all Police/Peace Officers both active duty and retired to please carry a weapon whenever you leave your house. We are the thin blue line that is entrusted in keeping this country safe, and we must be prepared to act at any given moment.”
Sullivan and Ulster Counties share a boundary and are located in the Catskills region of New York.