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Oneida County Sheriff Department mulling pistol permit course

By JOLEEN FERRIS

(WKTV) - The Oneida County Sheriff's Department may soon offer the required handgun safety course pistol permit applicants must take in order to obtain a pistol license.
    
Right now, several certified individuals offer the course both on their own and for businesses like Gander Mountain in New Hartford.  Some Sundays, applicants line up outside the store before it even opens, running to the classroom.
    
The county pistol licensing office contacted the sheriff's department to see if they'd be interested in teaching the course, as do many departments in other counties. Undersheriff Robert Swenszkowski says consistency is the reason they were contacted.
  
"People are going to receive a designated lesson plan that's pretty much structured very similar to how we start out firearms courses with new members, recruits," says Swenszkowski.
  
Right now, the undersheriff is hammering out a proposal addressing when the department would offer the course, what they'd charge and how it would be structured. He says while it could be a revenue generator for the county, he doesn't expect it'd be a huge moneymaker and that it's not their motivation for considering teaching the course. Swenszkowski isn't aware of any plans to make the department the sole provider of the course.
   
"Our intent behind this after we were approached was not to eliminate anybody else from teaching it but basically present the course in a consistent manner. The ultimate authority on that is going to be the issuing judge."
   
The undersheriff plans to have a proposal to the pistol licensing office by the end of the month.
 

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