To carry or not to carry. That's the debate after the Ulster County Sheriff encouraged gun owners to arm themselves. Paul Blarcum made the appeal on the Sheriff's Facebook page, urging everyone to "take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm."

The plea comes after recent attacks in Paris and the mass shooting in California.


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.

I urge you to responsibly take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm. To ensure the safety of yourself and others, make sure you are comfortable and proficient with your weapon, and knowledgeable of the laws in New York State with regards to carrying a weapon and when it is legal to use it.

I also want to remind all Police/Peace Officers both active duty and retired to please carry a weapon whenever you leave your house. We are the thin blue line that is entrusted in keeping this country safe, and we must be prepared to act at any given moment.

The post has been shared over 26,000 times and has thousands of comments, for and against the idea.

"There were more positive comments than negative, but the negative ones are very adamant. I respect the people who disagree with me. As a licensed handgun owner, you make the decision whether you want to carry it or not. It's a personal decision," Blarcum tells Fox News.


Joshua Azenberg: "One of the most reckless and irresponsible posts I have ever seen. Carrying a firearm doesn't always ensure safety even if you are a responsible owner. Imagine if a large number of people brought their own weapon into a supermarket. All it takes is one person to make a mistake…. how irresponsible," he posted.

Sean Merriman: "A call to arms? Really? As a resident of Ulster county this makes me very uncomfortable. You should apologize for this highly irresponsible statement."

Robert Burke Warren: "This is the worst advice I've ever heard given by a public official."

Jennifer Kory: "How dare you put our families and children at risk by encouraging civilians and ordinary citizens to take the law into their own hands?"


Robert Bump: "Finally, law enforcement official speaking the truth and caring about its citizens."

Joan Coleman: "Omg. How amazing is he? Someone who actually is concerned about the citizens that reside in his county."

Tom Connelly: "I salute you, Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum! If only there were thousands more like you in this country."

Which side are you on? Carry or not carry. Vote below.

December 3, 2015ATTENTION LICENSED HANDGUN OWNERSIn light of recent events that have occurred in the United States...

Posted by Ulster County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, December 3, 2015

MORE: Girl Writes Touching Thank You Note to Police Officer

Stay Connected

More From 96.1 The Eagle