Cayuga County SAFE Act opposition – YNN

| September 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Cayuga County SAFE Act opposition – YNN.

By: Katie Gibas

There’s been backlash over the SAFE Act across New York State. A number of municipalities have already opposed the gun control law and asked the state to repeal it. Among other things, it requires that the names and addresses of pistol permit holders must be public record. But as our Katie Gibas reports, one local sheriff says he’s not going to release that information.

CAYUGA COUNTY, N.Y. — It was a law meant to make New York safer. But many communities fear it is doing the opposite.

“This law and the FOIL part of it is putting people’s lives at risk, the law abiding citizens,” said Susan Dwyer, Cayuga County Clerk.

Jon Budelmann, Cayuga County District Attorney, said, “As a pistol permit holder, I generally would not want my name released to the media to have it published someplace. That might either make me a target for a burglar, someone looking to obtain guns, or conversely, make my neighbors who aren’t pistol permit holders a target because they’re not armed.”

That’s why, even though the SAFE act requires it, the Cayuga County Sheriff says he won’t release the names of pistol permit holders under the freedom of information law without a court order.

“The Freedom of Information Act was designed to increase government transparency so that people who are watching the government can make sure it’s operating the way it’s supposed to. At the same time, what they’re seeking is not records of the Sheriff’s Department’s operations, but the names and addresses and information about the gun holders, the pistol permit holders in the county,” said Budelmann.

The Cayuga County Clerk says even if they wanted to release the names and addresses of pistol permit holders, it’s physically impossible.

“Our system does not allow us to distinguish a person who has opted out or a person who has not. In other words, we can’t run from our database, run me a record for everyone that’s opted out or not opted out,” said Dwyer.

Right now, you only have to apply for a permit once. There are more than 10,000 pistol permits dating back to 1920 in Cayuga County. But Dwyer and Budelmann say many of those people might not even be alive because there aren’t any laws or procedures in place to take guns back after a person dies.

“They stay wherever they stay with whoever has them. Sometimes a lawful pistol permit holder, frequently someone who has previous convictions and we end up arresting them later on. We just sent an individual to prison who had a number of guns that were from his father,” said Budelmann.

As of right now, Cayuga County has only received one freedom of information law request for pistol permit holders’ names and addresses. As for the future, they say they’ll take it day by day, foil by foil.

The County Clerk says pistol permit holders can continue to fill out the opt out forms. That means no one will be able to get their record after the date they filled out the opt out form.

In the future, the clerk says pistol permits will have to be renewed every five years or so.

Category: NY & CT Firearm News

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