Crime

Off-duty police will be allowed to carry guns at State Fair

A change from Wednesday, off-duty officers will be allowed to carry guns during the New York State Fair as long as they show their badge at the gate.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s office says the policy is not changing this year, despite a memo sent out by State Police saying the State Department of AG & Markets removed the exception. The governor’s statement now says it was a miscommunication, and their main priority is keeping everyone safe at the fair.

State Fair officials also say they are upholding a “long-standing policy” of allowing off-duty police officer to carry firearms while attending the New York State Fair.

In a statement to Spectrum News 1, fair officals said they are also hoping to clear up any confusion, “The Fair’s long-standing policy on carrying firearms on the fairgrounds has not changed. The Fair has reached out to the law enforcement community to make sure there is a clear understanding of the policy and how it is being implemented. We look forward to welcoming our men and women in uniform and all New Yorkers to enjoy the Great New York State Fair this year.”

Civilians have long been banned from bringing firearms onto the fairgrounds, but there has always been an exception for off-duty police officers. According to the memo, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets elected not to allow off-duty police officers to carry their weapons this year.

The State Fair website says any weapons are banned from the fairgrounds during the event:

“Weapons of any kind, including but not limited to firearms, whether registered or unregistered, machine guns, rifles, shotguns, antique firearms, black powder rifles, black powder shotguns, or any muzzle-loading firearms, and/or other weapons including but not limited to any variety of knife, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, cane sword, club, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chukka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shuriken or “Kung Fu star”, razor, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon (or an imitation thereof that could be reasonably mistaken for a deadly instrument or weapon) are prohibited from the Fairgrounds.”

The website does list an exception for police officers and peace officers, but does not specify whether they are on- or off-duty.

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