Gun owners in New York who don't want their registration information available to the public are facing a deadline to file an exemption form with local licensing authorities.Gun owners have until Wednesday to file an exemption if they want to keep their information private.
Starting Wednesday, the records of anyone who has asked to be exempt from the state Freedom of Information Law will be kept secret. But the information will be available for gun owners who haven't acted.Currently, anyone can make a request for names and addresses of gun permit holders under the Freedom of Information Law, but New York's recently passed gun control law allows for an exemption.The exemption provision was included in the NY SAFE Act, which was enacted in January. It requires stating a reason for the exemption, though it also says they will be granted unless the filing was untimely or the information false.They can exempt their information from the state Freedom of Information Law, which some newspapers have used to identify owners.The form can be submitted to the Onondaga County Sheriff's office and can be found on its website. The law mandates handgun license renewals at least every five years. Many counties previously issued lifetime licenses, which now expire in 2018.
Lawmakers were reacting to controversy surrounding the decision by The Journal News newspaper in White Plains to publish a map showing information about gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)