Publishing Lists of Permit Holders in New York

Publishing Lists of Permit Holders in New York

This is a discussion on Publishing Lists of Permit Holders in New York within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't know if this has been discussed yet, but a couple of newspapers in New York state have acquired a list of CC permit ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array cl00bie's Avatar
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    Publishing Lists of Permit Holders in New York

    I don't know if this has been discussed yet, but a couple of newspapers in New York state have acquired a list of CC permit holders and published their names an municipalities on the web for the "enlightenment" of the public.

    “The names of more than 30,000 licensed handgun owners were posted on-line as part of ‘Falling Through the Cracks,’ the paper’s Dec. 10 report that found that thousands of registered handguns were unaccounted for because there is no system to secure the weapons of permit holders who die. The articles can be found by clicking the ‘Gun Control’ icon at: lohud.com | The Journal News | Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties, New York.

    “Some readers, particularly those on the list of licensed pistol owners, suggested that the newspaper erred in publishing the names. They said it may target their homes for theft, although the paper did not publish their home addresses,” The Journal News continued.

    Some pistol owners remain irate at the newspaper, some are even more upset than the newspaper told its readers.

    The Journal News said the lists were obtained through Freedom of Information Law requests. New York state pistol licenses are public records, as are the names and home addresses of all permit holders. The Journal News said it chose to withhold the street addresses, using only the names and municipalities where the license holders live.

    “The Constitution gives people the right to own guns in this country, and it also gives people the right to know whether they own a gun or not,” said Henry Freeman, editor and vice president/news at The Journal News, responded to complaints. “This is a public record. People have a right to know that.

    “We did take it into consideration and did not publish your street address, which is also public information.”
    I have sent a letter to the editor of my local paper voicing my objection to the publishing of such lists. They amount to "shopping lists" for criminals and endanger the lives of legal pistol holders who might be subject to violent criminals who, knowing they are armed, will go in and shoot first and then take their guns.

    Less violence minded criminals might use the list to find homes of those who are not armed (possibly the publisher of the paper in question).

    But the good news is that there is widespread public support for the restriction of public access to permit records, and there is current legislation being sponsored in the New York state house to make it illegal to release this information to the public. This bill appears to have the beginnings of bi-partisan sponsorship. We'll see how it goes.
    -Tony

    "Those who beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those who didn't." -- Thomas Jefferson


  2. #2
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    Some "common" sense could go a long way. With the thought of the paper exercising it's 1st amendment rights, shouldn't the public also know how much the paper pays this individual to promote his bias input. Maybe it would give BG's some thought as to how many valuables he has at home.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cl00bie View Post
    But the good news is that there is widespread public support for the restriction of public access to permit records, and there is current legislation being sponsored in the New York state house to make it illegal to release this information to the public. This bill appears to have the beginnings of bi-partisan sponsorship. We'll see how it goes.
    A good bill to support - we've had it in Texas for awhile now.

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    A while back there was a discussion - not sure if it was on this forum or some other one - about the same thing happening in Illinois or some other state.

    Now that it's happening somewhere else and seems to be catching like some kind of absurd, juvenile prank, I have something I need to get straightened out pronto. It relates to the following:

    From original article:

    New York state pistol licenses are public records, as are the names and home addresses of all permit holders.
    Okay, everybody, I'm tired of being confused. Can somebody please tell me whether the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in any state that issues such permits are, by the very fact that the permits are issued by a government authority, considered to be "public records" and may be legally furnished to anybody who requests them?

    I freely admit it - I am totally (and, in this day and age, inexcusably) ignorant of these matters. I really need to find out whether I might wake up tomorrow, get a newspaper and find my name on the front page. Can somebody with knowledge please tell me whether this is a question of state law, federal law or what, or how to go about finding out if this might happen in my own state and city?

    Personally, I find it INCREDIBLE that such a thing can be legal. Don't we live in an age of frenzied, frivolous litigation about things far more trivial than this, and oftentimes downright silly? If McDonalds can be successfully sued for serving hot coffee, then COME ON. This unbelievably small-minded and pathetic attack on permit holders has to be able to be successfully argued as a deliberate attempt to endanger a number of the tax-paying public. Does anybody think that a group of your average citizens, even if some of them were nominally anti-gun, could fail to agree upon the outrageousness of this sort of thing?

    Maybe I'm way off base, but I still can't believe that a media company that published something like this could survive so much as five minutes in the court of public opinion. Even if some of the people who read about it have as little integrity as the paper evidently does, I think most people would despise a newspaper that is so transparent in its attempt to blackball those of the public who are exercising their rights. If nothing else, this kind of thing is just plain low-road.

    As far as this goes:

    The Constitution gives people the right to own guns in this country, and it also gives people the right to know whether they own a gun or not,”...
    What? How, pray tell?

    The RKBA is explicity set forth in the Second Amendment. Where, on the other hand, does the Constitution explicitly give the media the right to recklessly disseminate sensitive information about citizens, information that is the business of those citizens themselves and no one else? Public records or not, it is INSANE that such information is somehow legal to be made available to anyone who asks. Why on earth is this? What possible reasons would be given by those who support the legality of access to this information? What good can it do someone else - and, more to the point, what business is it of some busybody - whether I have been issued a firearms permit, or what my last year's tax return has written on it?

    I can't believe this.

  5. #5
    Member Array cl00bie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
    What good can it do someone else - and, more to the point, what business is it of some busybody - whether I have been issued a firearms permit, or what my last year's tax return has written on it?
    That is an interesting statement. If I were a vindictive man, I would wonder how hard it would be to get last year's tax return under FOIA of each member of the offending paper's editorial board, and publish it on a web page.
    -Tony

    "Those who beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those who didn't." -- Thomas Jefferson

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    The Freedom of Information Act was designed to allow people and the media to keep a watchful eye on the expenditures and operations of the government, NOT to violate the citizens personal right to privacy and security. You can't use FOIA to get individually identifiable drivers 'license' or vehicle registration records with names and addresses, so why should it be any different for a gun 'license'. In South Carolina such records, including carry permits are protected by law and are not subject to a FOIA request.

    If a single permit holder were to be injured or killed because of the information that was released, a lawsuit should be in order, a BIG one!! IMHO.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
    Okay, everybody, I'm tired of being confused. Can somebody please tell me whether the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in any state that issues such permits are, by the very fact that the permits are issued by a government authority, considered to be "public records" and may be legally furnished to anybody who requests them?

    I freely admit it - I am totally (and, in this day and age, inexcusably) ignorant of these matters. I really need to find out whether I might wake up tomorrow, get a newspaper and find my name on the front page. Can somebody with knowledge please tell me whether this is a question of state law, federal law or what, or how to go about finding out if this might happen in my own state and city?
    Okay, Piglet,

    Here is the absolute, definitive answer:

    It depends.
    It depends on which state you live in.

    Since we can't tell from your public information, we could only guess.
    In Florida, the state, by law, cannot keep records of guns and permits. Therefore, they cannot publish them.

    I don't know about your state.

    Without that knowledge, you will have to research your state's statutes for the proper information, or ask an attorney who is also a 'gun nut.' Or, call your state attorney's office in your capitol and ask them. Or, go to your local range and see if there is something like we have, Gutmacher's Florida Firearms Law.

    Sorry, but without more information on where you live, not much help (unless you happen to be in FL like me).
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
    A while back there was a discussion - not sure if it was on this forum or some other one - about the same thing happening in Illinois or some other state.

    Now that it's happening somewhere else and seems to be catching like some kind of absurd, juvenile prank, I have something I need to get straightened out pronto. It relates to the following:

    From original article:



    Okay, everybody, I'm tired of being confused. Can somebody please tell me whether the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in any state that issues such permits are, by the very fact that the permits are issued by a government authority, considered to be "public records" and may be legally furnished to anybody who requests them?

    I freely admit it - I am totally (and, in this day and age, inexcusably) ignorant of these matters. I really need to find out whether I might wake up tomorrow, get a newspaper and find my name on the front page. Can somebody with knowledge please tell me whether this is a question of state law, federal law or what, or how to go about finding out if this might happen in my own state and city?

    Personally, I find it INCREDIBLE that such a thing can be legal. Don't we live in an age of frenzied, frivolous litigation about things far more trivial than this, and oftentimes downright silly? If McDonalds can be successfully sued for serving hot coffee, then COME ON. This unbelievably small-minded and pathetic attack on permit holders has to be able to be successfully argued as a deliberate attempt to endanger a number of the tax-paying public. Does anybody think that a group of your average citizens, even if some of them were nominally anti-gun, could fail to agree upon the outrageousness of this sort of thing?

    Maybe I'm way off base, but I still can't believe that a media company that published something like this could survive so much as five minutes in the court of public opinion. Even if some of the people who read about it have as little integrity as the paper evidently does, I think most people would despise a newspaper that is so transparent in its attempt to blackball those of the public who are exercising their rights. If nothing else, this kind of thing is just plain low-road.

    As far as this goes:



    What? How, pray tell?

    The RKBA is explicity set forth in the Second Amendment. Where, on the other hand, does the Constitution explicitly give the media the right to recklessly disseminate sensitive information about citizens, information that is the business of those citizens themselves and no one else? Public records or not, it is INSANE that such information is somehow legal to be made available to anyone who asks. Why on earth is this? What possible reasons would be given by those who support the legality of access to this information? What good can it do someone else - and, more to the point, what business is it of some busybody - whether I have been issued a firearms permit, or what my last year's tax return has written on it?

    I can't believe this.
    in Texas you can find out if someone has a CHL. you have to write to the DPS and give the persons name and the DPS will tell you if they have a CHL,but they must also give the name of the person asking, to the person that they are asking about. they will not give your address out.
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  9. #9
    Member Array gg12's Avatar
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    According to my CCW class instructor, in MO the information is protected and not public. He specifically mentioned that our names would not be published in the newspaper because of the way our law is written.

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    In my book, there is no good reason for the general public to know that I have a CWP. I went through training, FBI/SLED background check(fingerprinting, too) and what do I get in return? Snoopy newspapers using FOIA to get unneeded information in an effort to raise readership and get attention! If I were an active LEO with a CWP for off-duty carry, I sure as hell would not want a newspaper printing my name and address for the world to see! Some things are meant to be kept quiet!

    Carrying concealed means sealed lips. Fortunately, in SC there is strong support for a bill going to the Guvernor to be signed to keep this info sealed. Thank God!

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    miklcolt.45 said:

    It depends.
    It depends on which state you live in.
    That does help some. At least this (and others' subsequent responses as well) makes clear that it's a question of state law, so maybe there's hope, since others have said that their states have enacted laws to protect this information.

    I'm going to start researching this issue in my own state, and will probably start by contacting some CCW permit instructors who (hopefully) know what they're talking about.

  12. #12
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    Go through the list and see if any prominent anti-gun politicians are on it. Then see what happens.
    This shouldn't happen, it's an intimidation tactic by a liberal newspaper. LE will always have access to these records if needed. The public at large doesn't need to know.
    Watch and see if any teachers who are on the list get mysteriously canned soon. I hope one does, and a big lawsuit somes down the pike against the newspaper and school board.
    "The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
    Nunn v. State GA 1848

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    The names of legal pistol permit holders are public under New York State Penal Law section 400.00(5), which regulates firearms licensing and states that "the name and address of any person to whom an application for any license has been granted shall be a public record."
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    The Constitution gives people the right to own guns in this country, and it also gives people the right to know whether they own a gun or not,” said Henry Freeman, editor and vice president/news at The Journal News, responded to complaints
    Uh....am I ignorant, or did I miss this right when reading the Constitition? What other rights for the newspaper has this guy made up?
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  15. #15
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    What is the use of requiring the permit holder to keep his gun concealed if they are then going allow the press to tell everyone that you have a gun? Too bad we can't go back to open carry since the press is determined to agitate the anyway. If we all went around telling everyone that we were wearing a gun, the cops would haul us away for making threats to people or some other nonsense. When the press does something like this, anyone damage by that information being released, i.e. loosing your job, getting robbed, being shunned by friends, family or co-workers, should get together and sue the publisher. And, any that own businesses and carry to protect themselves, and their businesses ought to immediately pull all advertising. Anyone with a subscription should cancel it and ask for a refund of the unused portion. The only way these idiots will stop is when the practice is made either totally illegal, or when enough people hit them where it hurts.
    Cordially,
    GPS

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