Rensselaer County pistol permit holders opt-out options begin - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Rensselaer County pistol permit holders opt-out options begin

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RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. – Rensselaer County officials are spreading the word that all Rensselaer County pistol permit holders that they can request to keep their pistol permit information confidential under the newly enacted SAFE act effective February 15, 2013.

On Friday, the State police will have what is known as the "opt-out" form available on their website for those permit holders who desire to keep their information confidential. 

This form allows the holder to request the County licensing authority to keep their information confidential, thus preventing the record from being made available to FOIL requests.

A supply of forms is also available at office of County Clerk Frank J. Merola for applicants to pick up at their leisure, and the form will also be available at www.rensco.com for online retrieval. 

Permit holders who wish to have these forms mailed or e-mailed may contact www.pistoloptout@rensco.com.

The SAFE act amends the former law which allowed individuals, organizations or any interested party to request the entire pistol database, including names and addresses of license holders, under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). 

Concerns over safety issues, such as criminals targeting homes based on this information, revealing the names and addresses of law enforcement or those who have orders of protection for security reasons prompted County Clerks to lobby the legislature to modify the law under the SAFE act to allow holders to keep their records private. 

Under the SAFE act, current license holders have 120 days from February 15, 2013 to file this form with the NYS Police.

"The Governor and legislature should keep this entire list confidential as far as I am concerned."  Mr. Merola said, "I still don't understand why an organization or individual needs such a list that has the potential to expose so many people to danger.  That being said, we will work with our holders to provide them the forms and remind them to file these forms as soon as they can to ensure that their records remain confidential."

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