The day after the horrific shooting in San Bernardino, Paul J. Van Blarcum thought it was about time to remind Americans to take advantage of their Second Amendment rights. Van Blarcum is the current sheriff of Ulster County, New York.
He issued a statement on Facebook encouraging those who are licensed to carry firearms to “please do so,” along with telling fellow police officers, both retired and on active duty, to carry their guns every time they leave their homes.
“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,” he said.
He also urged his constituents to invoke their Second Amendment rights, learn proper gun safety, their carry rights, and other laws concerning firearms in the state of New York saying, “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.”
Sheriff Van Blarcum told a local CBS News affiliate that this wasn’t intended to spark a debate:
“All I was doing as reminding people that here in Ulster County, if you are a licensed hand gun owner, and you feel comfortable carrying that handgun, you’re proficient with that handgun, and you’re responsible with that handgun, then I encourage you to carry that handgun,” he said.
This isn’t the first time a member of law enforcement was pleased to see law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights. In February, a couple being pulled over for speeding in Ohio, presented their concealed carry permits upon the police officer's request for their driver's license and registration. In Ohio, CCW holders are required by law to inform the police that they’re armed if approached.
"I’m happy to see more people with their CCWs [concealed carry weapons permit], especially with the world becoming the way it is,” the officer said.
He then sent the couple on their way.