In December 2012, prior to adoption of the NY SAFE Act, The Journal News, a suburban New York newspaper, gained national attention by publishing an online interactive map to show the names and addresses of licensed handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties. The newspaper had obtained this information by submitting requests to local authorities under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (“NY FOIL”). After this interactive map generated much controversy, the newspaper took it down in January.
This controversy led to a provision being included in the NY SAFE Act so that licensed handgun owners in New York can submit a form to opt-out of any such disclosures in the future.
In a related development, The New York Times submitted a request under NY FOIL seeking information about licensed handgun owners in New York City. A lower court had ordered the release of this information but was recently overturned by a New York appellate court based upon, among other arguments, that the home addresses of licensed handgun owners was subject to privacy and safety exemptions to FOIL disclosure. The Appellate Division’s ruling could be appealed to New York’s highest court. The Appellate Division’s opinion in New York Times Co. v. City of New York Police Department is available here.
Renzulli Law Firm is Monitoring NY SAFE Act Developments
Renzulli Law Firm, nationally recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country serving the Firearms Industry, is monitoring developments about the NY SAFE Act and the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 closely and publishing regular updates which are available by e-mail and on this website. Any questions you may have about the NY SAFE Act should be directed to John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.