As a recent recipient of a Saratoga County-issued unrestricted pistol permit, I can legally carry a concealed handgun.
For 46 years, I had a pistol permit that limited my pistol-carrying to hunting and target only. But early last summer, Saratoga County’s pistol permit regulations were revised.
Spearheaded by Saratoga County Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo, residents now have a path to acquiring an unrestricted pistol permit. The new permit allows pistol owners to carry guns, as long as they conceal them and do not bring them to gun-free zones, such as government buildings, schools and churches.
A retired law enforcement friend recently told me of a quote from Ulster County Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum. He said, “In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world, I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm, to please do so.”
With an unrestricted permit, I had to consider the primary purpose of a carrying a gun — protection for myself and my family, in addition to some fun times at the shooting range.
Thus, quality and dependability became the most important factors in my choice of a handgun. Having reviewed and test-fired most handguns over the years while attending the SHOT Show, my selection was easy — the Glock — and its Model 42 will soon be arriving at my dealer and added to my permit.
The Glock 42 is the smallest pistol the company has ever introduced, and is an ideal pocket-concealable carry gun. It’s a reliable single-stack, semi-auto measuring just 5.94 inches long, 4.13 inches high and .94 inches wide. Total weight with loaded magazine (six rounds) is 17.29 ounces. Details are avilable at https://us.glock.com/.
For caliber, I obviously want enough “punch” when needed, and I spent a whole day on the Internet looking for the best answer, but did not find one. After a few calls to law enforcement friends, I decided that the .380 ACP would do the job.
My choice for ammunition was influenced by the Handgun Cartridge Power Chart developed by gun writer Chuck Hawks. This list includes the handgun calibers of everything from a .22 caliber to a .45 Colt.
What influenced me the most was the “one shot stop” percentage power column. This percentage is based on actual shooting culled from police records. My choice — the Glaser Blue 70-grain bullet — leaves the barrel at 1,313 feet per second, with 268 foot pounds and an impressive 75 “one shot stop” percentage.
Carrying a concealed firearm comes with some very important responsibilities. In addition to getting sufficient fundamental classroom and range live-fire training, owners should continue to visit the range with their handgun.
One way to do this is to join a local sportsman club that has an International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). This organization meets regularly, and the shoot/practice simulates self-defense scenarios and life-like encounters. It’s geared toward the new or average shooter, yet is challenging and rewarding for experienced shooters. You can find your local IDPA group at www.idpa.com.
Here are five rules I want to share with you for carrying a concealed weapon.
Your concealed weapon is for protection of life only.
Know exactly when you can use it.
If you can run away safely — RUN!
Keep your gun hidden from public view.
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
For more information on these responsibilities, go to, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/707720/posts.
Saratoga County residents who want more information on obtaining a pistol permit can go to http://www.saratogacountysheriff.org/pistol-permits-2/.
More from The Daily Gazette: