senate Bill S2488B

Relates to pistol permit privacy

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 24 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 29 / Mar / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.266
  • 30 / Mar / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 31 / Mar / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 11 / Apr / 2011
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 2488A
  • 02 / May / 2011
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 2488B
  • 14 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 14 / Jun / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 14 / Jun / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 01 / Mar / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.267
  • 05 / Mar / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 06 / Mar / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 19 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 19 / Jun / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 19 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Relates to pistol permit privacy and makes all personal information regarding pistol or revolver licensees confidential except to law enforcement agencies and to individuals requesting information about a named individual.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9388
Versions:
S2488
S2488A
S2488B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง400.00, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S8456, A11716
2011-2012: A1896A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2488B

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the penal law, in relation to pistol permit privacy

PURPOSE:
To require that when a person, other than law enforcement, requests a
search of the pistol or revolver automated listing under the Freedom
of Information Law (FOIL) that it is limited to a search by specific
name.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - Subdivision 5 of Section 400.00 of the Penal Law, as
amended by Chapter 332 of the laws of 1994, is amended to make the
names of any pistol or revolver permit holders confidential except if
a request is made under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) for a
specific individual by name. Any requests for the entire list
of licensees or for all the licensees in a geographic area shall be
denied except if requested by law enforcement (to include any
district attorney office in New York State).

Section 2 - Sets forth an immediate effective date.

EXISTING LAW:
In 1994, Subdivision 5 of Section 400.00 of the Penal Law was amended
by the Legislature to restrict public access to the contents of an
approved application for a firearm license, by permitting disclosure
only of the name and address of the approved applicant. Before the
1994 amendment, subdivision 5 provided that all information from an
approved firearm permit application shall be deemed as part of the
public record and therefore released upon request under the Freedom
of Information Law (FOIL). The law was changed in 1994 to address the
concerns that providing all of the information on a pistol or
revolver holder's permit application could release information which
would endanger the life or safety of the applicant and possibly
others. Such information includes whether the permit holder
transports large amounts of cash or other valuables which would give
criminals an opportunity and a ready source of information to commit
a crime against such person.

JUSTIFICATION:
A new abuse of the public access to New York State's pistol or revolver
permit registry now exists due to the creation of web sites on the
Internet that contain the name and address of every person in the
State of New York who holds a permit for a pistol or revolver.

As in 1994, the last time this law was amended, there are important
personal and public safety reasons to make amendments to the
information available to the public regarding the pistol or revolver
automated listing maintained by the New York State Police.

As the law is currently written, it allows for an individual to make a
FOIL request through the New York State Police or the New York City
Police for the entire database of pistol or revolver holders in the
State and in NYC. In fact, the Director of Public Information for the


New York State Police has stated that numerous requests have been
made in recent years for the entire database and they have had no
choice but to release the information under current law. Having this
information available online and readily accessible to anyone creates
serious safety issues not only for the permit holders and their
family members but also for individuals who do not have guns in their
home.

Criminals now have a road map of the homes that have guns and those
that do riot. This can be easily utilized to target homes to steal
the pistol or revolver from the person's address that is listed on
the permit. Not only does this possibly put guns in the hands of
dangerous individuals but it also creates the chance of the permit
holder or a family member being harmed during an attempted robbery.

Also disturbing is the fact that having this list available not only
tells criminals where legally owned handguns are located but it also
tells them which homes are not protected by a person with a pistol
permit. This is once again a road map for individuals who want to
break into someone's home to either commit a robbery, assault, rape
or other heinous crime without having to worry that their intended
victim possesses any firepower to ward off the attack.

Clearly, this information in the wrong hands creates a risk to not
only the permit holders and their families but also to their
neighbors and the rest of society. The threat of guns being stolen or
individuals being harmed due to the public access of this entire list
is too menacing to allow it to continue.

Therefore, this legislation will limit the ability of a person to
access the NYS or NYC permit or revolver registry by denying requests
for the entire list or database. However, recognizing that some
individuals may have a valid reason for wanting to know if a specific
person has a firearm permit, this legislation still allows for public
access with a FOIL request. Consequently, to rule out the intentional
abuse of the public access and posting of an entire database or
geographic area of permit holders, this bill will only allow a search
of the list with a request for a specifically named individual.

New York is among about one-third of states nationwide that allow the
disclosure of any pistol permit data.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.8456 Rules Committee/A.11716 Codes Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediate.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2488--B
    Cal. No. 266

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 24, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  GRIFFO, RANZENHOFER, DeFRANCISCO, JOHNSON, LANZA,
  LARKIN, LIBOUS, LITTLE, NOZZOLIO, RITCHIE, YOUNG, ZELDIN -- read twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on Codes -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered  to  first
  and  second  report,  ordered  to a third reading, amended and ordered
  reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading --  again
  amended  and  ordered  reprinted,  retaining its place in the order of
  third reading

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to pistol permit privacy

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivision  5  of  section  400.00  of the penal law, as
amended by chapter 332 of the laws  of  1994,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  5.  Filing  of  approved  applications.  (A)  The  application for any
license, if granted, shall be filed by the licensing  officer  with  the
clerk  of  the  county  of issuance, except that in the city of New York
and, in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, the licensing officer  shall
designate  the  place  of  filing in the appropriate division, bureau or
unit of the police department thereof, and in the county of Suffolk  the
county  clerk  is  hereby authorized to transfer all records or applica-
tions relating to firearms to the licensing authority  of  that  county.
The  name  and  address  of  any  person  to whom an application for any
license has been granted shall be [a  public  record]  CONFIDENTIAL  AND
SHALL NOT BE MADE AVAILABLE EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS
SUBDIVISION.    Upon application by a licensee who has changed his place
of residence such records or applications shall be  transferred  to  the
appropriate  officer  at the licensee's new place of residence. A dupli-
cate copy of such application shall be filed by the licensing officer in
the executive department, division of state police, Albany,  within  ten
days after issuance of the license. Nothing in this subdivision shall be

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05965-04-1

S. 2488--B                          2

construed  to  change  the  expiration  date or term of such licenses if
otherwise provided for in law.
  (B)  THE  DIVISION OF STATE POLICE SHALL MAINTAIN AN AUTOMATED LISTING
OF EVERY LICENSE HOLDER ISSUED A LICENSE FOR A PISTOL OR REVOLVER PURSU-
ANT TO THIS SECTION. SUCH LISTING SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE, UPON REQUEST,
PROVIDED, THAT:
  (I) ONLY REQUESTS RELATING TO A NAMED LICENSEE  SHALL  BE  HONORED  OR
MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE; AND
  (II)  A REQUEST FOR THE ENTIRE LIST OF LICENSEES, OR FOR ALL LICENSEES
IN A GEOGRAPHIC AREA, SHALL BE DENIED, EXCEPT  TO  ANY  LAW  ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY  OR  ANY  ENTITY ACTING ON BEHALF OF OR PROVIDING SERVICES TO ANY
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.
  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "LAW ENFORCEMENT  AGEN-
CY"  SHALL  MEAN THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE, ANY NEW YORK STATE COUNTY
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, ANY POLICE DEPARTMENT OF ANY CITY, VILLAGE OR TOWN
WITHIN NEW YORK STATE, THE POLICE FORCE OF ANY NEW YORK STATE  AUTHORITY
OR  AGENCY,  THE  STATE POLICE FORCE OF ANY OTHER STATE, ANY FEDERAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY AND ANY DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE IN NEW YORK STATE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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