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New York State Pistol Permit Opt-Out Program Leaves Questions In Oneida County

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Starting this Friday, pistol-permit owners in New York can opt-out from having their information made public as part of the NY Safe Act.

Permit owners can now elect to not have their information released as part of the NY Safe Act. The move was introduced following the publication of the names of gun owners in The Journal News, a Lower Hudson newspaper.

But Dan Sullivan, with the county’s Office of Pistol Permit Licensing, says information about the program has been vague, leaving him looking for answers.

“We’re getting dozens of calls a week from people who want to know how to do it, when they can do it and where they can do it,” Sullivan said. “But, as the department head of the Oneida County Pistol License Office, I don’t have one piece of official information that’s been given to me from the state of New York.”

Sullivan says the program looks like it may be geared toward people who have legitimate reasons to keep information private, like cops and other law enforcement officials. Average pistol-permit owners may be less able to take advantage of the program.

“My understanding is that it’s going to be based on reason,” Sullivan said. “You can’t opt-out simply because you want to. There has to be somebody like myself or somebody in law enforcement or in the District Attorney’s office that says, ‘I don’t want people to have this information because I deal with the criminal element on a daily basis.”

The 400 plus page law has a 79 page synopsis that Sullivan says he has read multiple times, yet he still has questions about how the program will be implemented and who will be involved.

He also found it shocking how few people were involved in the passage of the law itself.

“I just find it disturbing that a bill like this was passed without the input of law enforcement, and in particular, the pistol licensing offices,” Sullivan said.

State Police were contacted regarding the program, but have yet to return phone calls.

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