In response to the shootings in San Bernardino, one sheriff in a town less than two hours away from Connecticut is making waves.
A Facebook message posted on the Ulster County Sheriff’s page is urging citizens who are 'licensed to carry a firearm, to please do so.'
While Ulster County is less than two hours from Connecticut, the message is crossing the borders.
At TGS Outdoors in Branford, Reed Keller was buying rounds for his 9 millimeter handgun, not necessarily in response to the tragedy that happened in California, but he understands the need to be vigilant.
“(I) usually carry it all the time and have it with me,” Keller said. “If you have a law abiding citizen carrying, and they see something wrong happening, they can take action and prevent it from getting a lot worse.”
The owner of TGS, Mike Higgins, said he has seen an increase in sales this month and agrees with the New York sheriff.
“I think that's what this sheriff was alluding to, that when it comes down to it, you are responsible for your own protection, your own safety,” Higgins said.
His brother, a retired correction officer, was accosted by former inmates.
“They surrounded him and were obviously going to do him harm,” Higgins said, adding that he was forced to diffuse the situation by reaching for his gun. “They backed off, he backed off and he was able to remove himself from the area and nothing happened.”
The Connecticut Police Chief’s Association said it does not agree with the neighboring sheriff. They said officers already have blue-on-blue training scenarios, which are situations specifically designed to recognize each other and innocent victims.
Berlin Police Chief Paul Fitzgerald said citizens don’t have that and he worries and said “Too many unidentified people with guns could shoot the wrong people.”
Connecticut is a conceal-and-carry state, so people wanting to arm themselves in public can. The number of gun registration applications grew sharply around the country after Paris.
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