Pin It

Have gun? Don't travel 

Navigating New York State's maze of gun laws is a punishing exercise; permit privileges vary by county and even in a "full carry" county such as Monroe, there are exceptions. New York City is a different ballgame altogether.

Diane Watkins, a teacher in the Rochester school district and former candidate for City Council, got caught in this complicated web earlier this year. She was arrested in May after a loaded handgun was allegedly found in her purse while Watkins was on a school field trip to New York City. She was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon — a felony.

She declined comment on this story.

Pistol permits, issued by the county in which the applicant lives, are not valid in New York City. In Monroe County, the prohibition is stated right on the permit. Permit holders in Monroe County are allowed to carry their handgun, but it must be concealed; New York does not allow open carry.

David Jenkins, founder and primary instructor of Rochester Personal Defense, says a good guideline is that no one should be able to tell that you're carrying a gun.

Rochester Personal Defense offers self-defense, firearm, and pistol-permit training to citizens and law enforcement.

And there are legal prohibitions on where you can carry, Jenkins says. For example, no guns are allowed in schools or courthouses, he says.

"If you have a firearm permit, you understand your rights and where you may carry and may not," says Mike Mazzeo, president of the Rochester police union, the Locust Club.

It is almost impossible for a nonresident to get permission to carry a handgun in New York City, say Mazzeo and Jenkins. Neither is clear on the exact regulations, but Jenkins says that a special exemption would have to be granted from someone very high up the chain — likely the New York City police commissioner — in order for someone to legally carry a handgun in the city.

"It hasn't been a big secret that New York City is not very gun friendly and they don't want you to carry a gun there," Jenkins says.

Watkins' fate with the Rochester school district is uncertain. The district is conducting a review of the New York City incident, says Superintendent Bolgen Vargas in a letter to district families, students, and staff. And Watkins, a social studies teacher at STEM High School, "will not be working with students until this matter is resolved," he says.

Vargas says he has no reason to believe that students were ever in danger.

Tags: , ,

Speaking of Guns, Safety

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Christine Carrie Fien

Browse Listings

Submit an event

City Council Arts & Culture Committee Meeting @ Arts & Cultural Council Center

Councilmember and Chair of the Arts and Culture Committee Elaine M. Spaull...

"The Workshop" (2017) @ Dryden Theatre

Saturday Morning Meditations @ Dharma Refuge

Three consecutive 35 minute sittings with a guided meditation. Everyone is welcome...

View all of today's events »

This Week's Issue

Cover Story:
On the road with tour manager Ron Mesh
read more ...

Tweets @RocCityNews

© 2018 City Newspaper.

Website powered by Foundation.