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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SCOPE not Welcome at the 2016 Jefferson County Fair
Watertown, New York – July 8th, 2016
Yesterday, the 2016 Jefferson County Fair committee informed the Jefferson/Lewis County chapter of Shooter’s Committee on Political Education (SCOPE), an organization dedicated to educating the citizens of New York State about their 2nd Amendment rights, that their application for a table at the Jefferson County fair was not approved. The reason given by a spokesperson from the fair was, “guns were controversial”. This is the first time the three year old chapter has requested a display booth at the Jefferson County fair.
SCOPE’s main mission is to educate the public on firearms legislation and 2nd Amendment issues, both in New York and nationally. This year alone, there were 159 firearm bills introduced in the New York State legislature. Some were issues that SCOPE supported, but many more were aimed at further restricting the rights of lawful gun owners.
“Education is paramount to maintaining our 2nd Amendment rights and it is being stymied by the administration of the Jefferson County fair.” said chapter Chairman Dan Tyner
Coordination for obtaining a booth has been on-going since January, 2016, but just five (5) days before the fair begins, the Jefferson County fair administration notified Jefferson/Lewis County Chapter of SCOPE of the rejection of its application.
Vice-chairman of Jefferson/Lewis SCOPE, John Elwood said, “An informed public listening to both sides of a debate makes better decisions. The fair’s decision to blunt public education because the administration thinks gun are controversial is Un-American.”
It should be noted that for many, many years, the Jefferson County Fair has allowed games using simulated guns on the midway that brought many smiles to people’s faces when they won a prize. Apparently playing games with guns is acceptable, but educating the public about them is not.
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Jefferson/Lewis SCOPE plans to maintain booths at both the Lewis fair scheduled 19-24 July and the Boonville Field Days on 19-21 August. Jefferson/Lewis SCOPE has been welcomed as a participant in the Lewis County Fair and has had a float in their parade for the past 2 years.
SCOPE, Shooters Committee on Political Education, is a statewide 501(c)4 organization, 100% member funded, and dedicated to education about and preserving the 2nd amendment rights for the residents of New York State. SCOPE was founded in 1965 and has over 35 chapters and committees throughout New York State, including New York City.
For more information:
John Elwood, Vice Chairman – Jefferson/Lewis SCOPE – 315-767-7782
Restore Upstate Freedom No one understands the value of freedom better than upstate New Yorkers. Second Amendment rights were outlined by our forefathers, and it’s a value we teach to our children and grandchildren today. FIGHT FOR FREEDOM Marc Butler fought the gun-grab SAFE Act and stood up for our freedoms.
Source: Restore Upstate Freedom
CANTON — St. Lawrence County legislators decided Monday night to continue their long-running battle against the restrictive pistol permit policy used by County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards.
At Monday night’s Operations Committee meeting, the board directed County Attorney Stephen D. Button to explore whether the authority to issue pistol permits can be extended to County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells.
Urge Your Rep. to Cosponsor HR 923!With your help over the past month, we have been able to get several dozen new cosponsors to legislation that will protect Constitutional Carry and reciprocity.
The bill is HR 923, and it now has over 80 cosponsors. This legislation will protect your right to carry concealed outside of your home state, whether you live in a Constitutional Carry state or not.
But the fact that it would protect citizens from Constitutional Carry states — enabling these gun owners to carry around the country without getting permits — is what makes HR 923 THE BEST reciprocity bill in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are 11 states that have permitless carry, and even more states are looking to join the “Constitutional Carry” club.
This is why your help is needed.
For Your Information:
The Old North Church Patriots group will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 21st, at 7pm in the Bible Fellowship Church in Lyons Falls.
The Old North Church Patriots regular meeting on Thursday, April 21st, will feature two of our members.
Connie Gorczyca will speak on the recent SCOPE Rally in Albany, and other 2nd amendment issues of which we need to be aware. John Donahue will present part two of the series “Gun Safety Outside The Home.” We continue to seek speakers who will enlighten us regarding important governmental issues.
In the near future we anticipate having speakers on Lewis County industrial development, Congress Woman Elise Stefanik, and anyone who may come forward to oppose her in her bid for reelection.
The Jefferson Lewis Chapter of SCOPE will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 o’clock pm on April 18th in the Watertown Sportsman’s Club.
The next meeting of the Oneida & Herkimer County committee of SCOPE will be held on May 9th at 7:00 pm. Unless there is a change the location will be the conference room of the Gander Mountain Sporting Goods Store in New Hartford.
Plan Ahead, TACTICAL PISTOL APPROACH CLASSES FOR CIVILIANS
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2016
WATERTOWN SPORTSMEN’S CLUB
COST IS $75 PER SESSION; $125 FOR BOTH $50 DEPOSIT; CASH/MONEY ORDER ONLY!! THESE ARE LIVE-FIRE CLASSES!!
REQUIRED: NYS PISTOL PERMIT, EYE/EAR PROTECTION, HANDGUN, AMMUNITION (min. 200 rounds), RANGE WAIVER
RECOMMENDED: FLASHLIGHT, EXTRA MAGAZINES
PLEASE KEEP YOUR MEMBERSHIP CURRENT AND IF YOU ARE NOT AN ACTIVE MEMBER PLEASE JOIN SCOPE.
We must broaden our base and participation to continue the fight to defend the 2nd Amendment.
You can join or renew your membership at: WWW.SCOPENY.ORG We need your support.
If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?