Curious whether the number of pistol-permit applications in New York has jumped since the state passed tougher new gun laws in January? The state won’t say whether that’s the case.
Citing privacy provisions in the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, State Police have declined Gannett Albany Bureau’s request—and subsequent appeal—for the number of new applications in 2013.
The SAFE Act forbids the disclosure of gun owners’ names who want to keep the information private and also doesn’t allow a new gun database to be released publicly.
But the state is also citing the law as a reason to not release any numbers about pistol permits or assault weapons in New York.
Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said the position by State Police is inconsistent with the law.
“If we’re talking about statistics only, not the actual records that were assembled or collected, in my opinion they’re public,” Freeman said. “I don’t know why they would be reluctant.”
Gannett’s Albany Bureau appealed a September ruling under the state’s Freedom of Information law by State Police that rejected a request for data on how many pistol permits had been issued by county in 2012 and this year.
The appeal was denied. In a Nov. 15 letter, the State Police said: “Because the records you sought would be derived from documents that were assembled or collected for purposes of inclusion in the State Police’s database, they are not subject to disclosure under FOIL.”
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