Legislators Move On Request To Restrict Pistol License Info (VIDEO)

Public Safety Committee members want state law amended to limit access to police and prosecutors


Members of the Rockland County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of efforts to have state Penal Law amended to keep gun applicant information confidential.  They were not fully in support of the second part of the resolution condemning the publication of a “gun map” of Rockland and Westchester counties.

Legislators Alden Wolfe, Ed Day, Douglas Jobson, Cris Carey, Toney Earl, Aron Wieder, Harriet Cornell and Jay Hood, who chairs the committee, voted in favor of the part of the resolution asking state legislators to introduce and pass bills amending a section of Penal Law that allows the name and address of gun license holders to be public information. Legislative Counsel Elana Yeger said the proposed change would prohibit public disclosure of names and addresses except to police and prosecutors conducting active investigations.

Two of the bill’s sponsors, Frank Sparaco and Ilan Schoenberger did not attend the meeting.

Except for Cornell, the legislators supported the second part of the resolution condemning the publication of the online map and demanding its removal.  Cornell said she disagreed with the use of  “condemning” in the resolution and that she write her own letter of objection to The Journal News. 

The members came under criticism from Art Aldrich who warned them against taking action that violated the First Amendment, which guarantees the right of freedom of expression including freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Wolfe disagreed with that description of the resolution and said it resolution did not abridge anyone’s rights. He said it was the committee’s way of exercising its freedom of speech. 

The legislators agreed the “gun map” created a public safety issue.  Sheriff Louis Falco said it gives a robber or burglar the opportunity to target properties that do or do not have guns and enables criminals to make “an informed decision” before they act.    

Several legislators noted inaccuracies in the map put people at risk.  Wieder said people who are not proponents of guns were also placed in jeopardy. 

“It makes no sense whatsoever to identify locations where there are guns,” said Day, adding it not only exposes people to potential burglaries but also could lead to more illegal firearms on the streets.  Hood said he was “dumbfounded” that the information had not been removed. The full legislature will vote on the two-part resolution when it meets on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Andromachos January 09, 2013 at 03:19 PM
You want to know those things, there is no law or constitutional provision that gives you a "right" to know them. Also, it does not seem that your desire to see them is too strong. For decades you have been allowed by law (the NY Freedom of Information Act) to obtain those records from the local government. It appears from your comment (and I may be assuming incorrectly) that you never thought it was important enough to get the records on your own. Concerning the records for your immediate neighborhood, I can not imagine they take up more than a few pages. At the mandated legal rate of $0.25 per page, plus the postage for the request, it appears that obtaining the information is pretty affordable.
GWashington January 09, 2013 at 03:42 PM
All you have to do is ask. You do not typically send your children to homes without knowing people inside do you? If you do, you are an unfit parent. Your statement would indicate that you are planning on sending your family members, including children into homes, the occupants of which, you are not familiar with. If you are planning a play date, you have the right to ask the parents if they have guns in the house. You also have the right to ask if they have a conviction for drunk driving, if there is child porn on the computer, drugs in the house, alcohol available for consumption, prescription drugs and over the counter medication that children may access, kitchen knives, and animals that may harm your little tot. Do you ask these things? Your child if more likely to be harmed by ingesting a foreign object, medication, or falling down unfamiliar steps than being injured by a firearm.
Richie Himes January 09, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Well said!
Don January 09, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Alan, why doesn't the paper publish a map of where sexual offenders live? What about people being released from prison? I think that would be more useful.
Atom January 09, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Alan, do you want to know if they have bats or hammers??? Do you want to know if the have matches???...J U S T A S K!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »