senate Bill S1972

Relates to pistol permit privacy

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

view all co-sponsors

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • 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.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

Versions:
S1972
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง400.00, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S2488B
2009-2010: S8456

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1972

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 individ-
ual 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 disclo-
sure 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 endan-
ger the life or safety of the applicant and possibly others. Such infor-
mation 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
websites 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 list-
ing 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 roadmap of the homes that have guns and those that
do not. 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 roadmap 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 menac-
ing 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: 2011-12 S. 2488b passed Senate/A. 9388 - Codes
Committee 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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1972

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  GRIFFO,  DeFRANCISCO,  GALLIVAN,  LARKIN, LITTLE,
  SEWARD -- read twice and ordered  printed,  and  when  printed  to  be
  committed to the Committee on Codes

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
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-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04923-01-3

S. 1972                             2

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.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.