On Friday, July 22, just as members of his party were gathering in Philadelphia to coronate Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee, the Obama Administration once again released a sweeping gun control measure by executive fiat. This time the bad news came via the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is primarily responsible for administering the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing rules, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The up
If you buy a raffle ticket, you’re in the running to win one of the guns at the Lewis County Fair.”Scope” is a group that educates people on legislation concerning firearms.This is Scope’s second year at the Lewis County Fair, and when it tried to expand the raffle to the Jefferson County Fair they were denied.”About five days before the fair started we were rejected,” John Elwood, vice chair for Jefferson and Lewis County Scope said. “The reason was guns were controversial.”Fair organizers in Jefferson County said they would have rented a booth to the group, had it intended to solely educate people about firearms, rather than raffle off weapons.Elwood said banning Scope from the fair played a role in people not attending the Jefferson County Fair.”There have also been a lot of people from Jefferson County who did not go to the Jefferson Fair, because they didn’t like what the Jefferson County Fair administration did,” Elwood said.The Lewis County Fair has two separate gun raffles, and Lewis County Fair president Doug Hanno said they’ve never had a complaint.”We don’t pick and choose who we let in here,” Hanno said. “We’re gonna let anybody that has a legal purpose come in. I have not had one person say anything negative about it.”Not only are the raffles receiving limited negative feedback, but fair officials say they might actually be attracting people to the fair.””Lewis county really is a hunting, conservation oriented community,” Hanno said. “A lot of people come to the fair just special to buy those raffle tickets.”Scope reps said they expect to raffle off four or five guns by the end of the Lewis County Fair.
LOWVILLE, N.Y. — Right below the grandstand at the Lewis County Fair, visitors can find a variety of exhibitors, including the Jefferson-Lewis Chapter of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, or SCOPE.”The main thing is to educate people on firearms legislation within New York State,” said John Elwood, the Jefferson-Lewis SCOPE Vice-Chair. “We have an audio-visual presentation that’s about the SAFE Act, the do’s and the don’ts of the SAFE Act.”In addition to education, the group is also hosting a gun raffle with three options; a rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.While the guns are on display throughout the week, they are unloaded, locked up, and can only be unlocked by their registered owners.”Once the raffle is completed, they’re notified whether they win or not. At that point, they have to go to the local federal firearms licensee to go through a background check and then, if they’re cleared of the background check, then they can pick it up,” said Elwood.While the group is attracting interest at this fair, it was a whole different story in a neighboring county.Jefferson County Fair president Bob Simpson told us the group was denied a booth because the fair was uncomfortable having a raffle and guns on display. However, Lewis County Fair president Doug Hanno says he’s happy to have them.”Lewis County is a pretty strong, gun-oriented community. We have a lot of hunting, fishing and trapping here, so it just fits in with our fair,” Hanno said.”The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution and guns are a part of our country and the things that are happening around the country with Orlando and Dallas and those things, they tear at my heart and the people that are in our organization, but that’s still no reason not to allow guns and gun raffles. We promote very responsible gun ownership,” said Elwood.Elwood says he didn’t think the raffle would be so controversial. He also says if the Jefferson County Fair welcomes the group back next year, they would go.SCOPE isn’t the only group hosting a gun raffle at the Lewis County Fair. The Lewis County Association of Sportsmens Clubs also has one.
The Saratoga Springs Arms Fair, which has put on over a 100 shows in the past three decades, is looking for a new venue after the City Center refused to book new shows.Saratogians for Gun Safety has long made the Arms Fair, a semi-annual gun show now in its 33rd year, their nemesis. In 2013, U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, along with New York Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman, visited the show and held it an example of compliance with the state’s new SAFE Act gun laws.Now, the Arms Fair is being told that there are no dates available for the show to book in 2017 or 2018.“We are booked there for August 20 to 21, and that’s the final booking date there that I’ve got,” show organizer David Petrnois told WAMC radio.“You can run an antique show, or if you can run a healthcare event, or if you can run any other things there that people are making at, why can’t I make money at my legitimate gun show that the Attorney General of New York State says is the safest place to buy a gun?” said Petronis.
The Lewis County Fair opens today in Lowville. Organizers are allowing the gun rights group SCOPE to raffle off three firearms. Last week, the Jefferson County Fair banned SCOPE from renting a booth. Organizers there claimed guns were too controversial to allow at a family event.
Doug Hanno, president of the Lewis County Fair, said hunting and sportsman groups sell raffle tickets for their firearms at the fair every year.“Lewis County is a huge hunting and sportsman club area. It’s something that people at our fair look for. They like that kind of an exhibit,” said Hanno.
Hanno said the recent gun violence across the country has not made him rethink his decision to allow gun raffles at the fair. He says the Lewis County Fair doesn’t turn away any vendors who have a legal right to be there, even if some may not agree with their exhibit.
Bob Simpson, lead organizer of the fair, said he’s standing by the decision. He said had the group, SCOPE, intended to educate people about guns, rather than give them away, organizers would have rented a booth to them.”Guns right now are a very controversial item. People are either for guns or against guns. We felt it was a very controversial issue that we didn’t want to participate in at the fair.”
Simpson said a woman’s death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the fair earlier this week confirmed to Simpson that fair leaders made the right call.David Petteys of Scope said he’s upset by the fair’s decision. He said organizers are dismissing Americans’ Second Amendment right.”Hunting and sporting goods like guns are a very popular thing in the North Country. For somebody at the Jefferson County Fair Commission to decide that suddenly we can’t do that is really astounding,” said Pettey.
He said the group raffles off traditional hunting and sportsmen guns to fund its mission of educating people about firearms.
Pettey said the group plans to set up a booth at the upcoming Lewis County Fair, but they haven’t heard back from fair organizers about whether they’ll be allowed to raffle off guns there.
WATERTOWN — Robert Simpson, president of Jefferson County Fair, just wanted to avoid getting in the middle of the country’s gun debate.
That’s why he and the fair board decided last week to deny a request by a gun group to rent a booth at the fair to sell raffle tickets for three guns.
“The fair is not pro-gun or anti-gun,” Mr. Simpson said Monday night.
Shooters Committee On Political Education, known as SCOPE, made the request a few weeks ago. SCOPE is a statewide organization dedicated to educating people about their Second Amendment rights.
The fair board made the decision before last week’s fatal shootings of black men in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, La., and the subsequent killing of five police officers at a Dallas anti-violence rally, Mr. Simpson said.
“It had nothing to do with what happened last week,” he said, adding the fair did not want to become entangled in the country’s gun controversy.
The gun group initially indicated that the guns need not to be present in the booth, so fair officials agreed that SCOPE could still have a table set up to educate the public about guns.
In the end, fair officials determined SCOPE had no interest in just letting the public know about guns, Mr. Simpson said.
“Their only interest is selling raffle tickets for the guns,” he said.
The fair’s decision has angered some local gun owners and SCOPE members.
“They’re bad-mouthing the fair. We didn’t want controversy,” said Mr. Simpson, who recalled a few years ago when an animal rights group criticized the fair for having a lion and tiger act.
The fair has since received numerous phone calls and emails opposing the decision.
In an email, SCOPE member Curtis Cappellano, from East Greenbush, near Albany, wrote he was disappointed the fair would not allow the organization to have a table because it was determined that “guns were controversial.”
“SCOPE provides information on Second Amendment issues pertaining to New York. I’m sure a large percentage of your patrons are hunters and have questions about the SAFE Act and other new gun related legislation,” he wrote. “Making SCOPE known as a source of information for them provides a valuable community service to your patrons.”
One local gun owner has decided to boycott the fair this year, Mr. Simpson said.
The 2016 fair opens at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds this morning.
Source: Watertown Daily Times
A Second Amendment group best known for its opposition to the SAFE Act gun control law has gotten the cold shoulder from a North Country fair over plans to set up a booth and raffle off a trio of guns.”It’s un-American when you can’t put out information on both sides of the issue,” said John Elwood, vice chairman of the Jefferson-Lewis County chapter of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, or SCOPE.Elwood said he had talked to officials at the Jefferson County Fair, which opens Tuesday in Watertown, as early as January about setting up a booth.The display was to include an audiovisual presentation about various aspects of the SAFE Act, the 2013 state gun control law that expanded the definition of banned assault-style weapons. SCOPE planned to raffle off a rifle, shotgun and handgun. If keeping the prizes on-site presented a problem, its members were willing to use photos, said Elwood.But during the last few days, fair organizers told the SCOPE chapter it couldn’t set up the display.”The reason is, ‘Guns are controversial,'” Elwood said of what he was told by fair officials.Calls to the fair manager Pam Shelmidine weren’t returned on Monday, but an email from the fair said the problem centered on the plan to raffle the guns.”It was decided by fair management that we would not rent space to anyone for the purpose of raffling guns,” the email said. “Had SCOPE requested to rent a booth to educate the public on guns we likely would have rented them a booth for that purpose.”Raffling of guns is legal, noted Elwood, who added that they conducted the giveaways last year at the Lewis County Fair and are planning to do so again at that event later this month.A similar raffle is planned for the Woodsmen’s Field Days, a lumberjack festival in Oneida County in August.But for the Jefferson County event, Elwood said, “It looks like it’s off this year.”Gun raffles aren’t a new concept, but they have occasionally drawn controversy.In 2014, a church in Troy drew statewide attention when it raffled off an AR-15-style rifle.John Koletas, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church, said at the time that it was to coincide with a discussion of what the Bible says about the right to bear arms.Elwood added that the winners of gun raffles need to pass federal background checks at licensed dealers before taking possession of any weapons.A SCOPE spokeswoman said the group has had tables at several county fairs, including Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua.
SCOPE, or the Shooters Committee for Political Education, is probably best known lately for its opposition to the SAFE Act gun control measure as well as some of the FOILs it has submitted about the law and subsequent lawsuits.But its activities don’t seem to be going over so well in Jefferson County where it has apparently been banned from setting up a table at the county fair which begins Tuesday.“The reason was that ‘guns are controversial,’ ” said John Elwood, who heads the group’s Jefferson-Lewis counties chapter, of the denial.He said the group planned to put up a table with a Power Point-type display about the ins and outs of the SAFE Act and it planned to raffle off a rifle, shotgun and pistol — something it has done at past events.But the group’s members were told in the past few days not to set up a table. When he asked if displaying a photo rather than the real (locked) guns to be raffled would be acceptable, it was rebuffed again.The group has had tables at the Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua county fairs, said spokeswoman Susan Maressa. (I’ve seen their tables at several events and fairs around the Capital Region.)
One thing you won’t find at the Jefferson County Fair this year is SCOPE.Shooters Committee On Political Education is an organization dedicated to educating people about their 2nd Amendment rights. SCOPE was told it couldn’t have a table at the fair because the group wanted to raffle off a gun. Fair officials found that too controversial.”Gun raffles are legal. The second issue is that we try to educate the public on the bills that I’ve talked about and for them not to allow SCOPE to educate folks on fire arms issues is un-American,” said John Elwood, Jefferson Lewis SCOPE vice chair.Fair officials say SCOPE could have a table educating people about 2nd Amendment rights, but without the gun raffle.