Smullen surrenders two pistols

Weapons seized following felony arrest in July

JOHNSTOWN — State Assembly candidate Robert Smullen of Johnstown on Monday surrendered two pistols he owns, due to his July 24 felony arrest.

Smullen and his campaign immediately seized upon the development to call for all to protect Second Amendment rights.

Campaign aide Mike Rose on Monday issued a news release indicating the Republican state Assembly candidate received a letter Saturday from the state Unified Court System to inform him his pistol permit has been temporarily suspended. He was given five days to surrender his pistols.

“He’s immediately complying,” Rose told The Leader-Herald.

Smullen was arrested by state police on July 24. He has been charged with a felony for allegedly filing false paperwork to get a reduction in property taxes on a home he owns in Niskayuna. Smullen immediately cried foul, accusing his opponent, Patrick Vincent, of wasting taxpayers’ money and running a smear campaign. Vincent fired back in a social media post that he had nothing to do with the arrest, adding Smullen is not “above the law.”

Smullen and Vincent meet in a Republican Sept. 13 primary, both seeking the 118th State Assembly District seat occupied by Marc W. Butler, who is retiring.

As part of the arrest, Rose on Monday acknowledged Smullen had to turn over his guns. He said he did that Monday at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department station on Route 29.

“He literally turned them in today,” Rose said.

But Rose pointed to the news release, adding that the original arrest was “politically motivated.”

The release proclaimed: “Colonel Smullen Vows To Fight To Protect The 2nd Amendment.”

In the release, Smullen, a 24-year Marine, was quoted as saying: “I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and fought for our country to defend our way of life and our Constitution.”

Smullen said Gov. Andrew Cuomo “in the dead of night” in 2013 saw to it the SAFE Act was passed.

“I know first hand the disdain the governor has for lawful gun owners,” Smullen said in the release.

After leaving the sheriff’s office Monday, the release says Smullen stated: “My political opponent, Patrick Vincent, and the governor do not understand … Marines do not back down from a fight and I will always defend our Constitution, which includes the Second Amendment’s right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.