Relates to confidentiality of information contained in pistol license; applications for pistol licenses and any information within the application, provided to law enforcement, to licensing officer or obtained for investigation of the applicant, shall be confidential.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to confidentiality of information contained in an application for a pistol license
PURPOSE: To enhance the personal privacy rights of pistol licensees.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill prohibits the public disclosure of information in an application for a pistol license with exceptions for prosecutors and police conducting an active investigation.
JUSTIFICATION: Someone who applies for a license to carry or possess a handgun pursuant to the Penal Law completes an application and undergoes a rigorous and thorough background investigation that will include collection of fingerprints, references, and other personal information. An applicant's file, once the license is granted by the licensing officer, may contain material and notes compiled by police agencies performing a background check. The file may be updated periodically to include the kinds and numbers of firearms registered to the applicant.
The recent publication of the names and addresses of pistol licensees in a three county area demonstrates the need to preserve the privacy of licensees. Dissemination of the names and addresses of pistol licensees identifies -- right down to street addresses -likely gun owners from whom criminals can steal guns. Guns stolen from lawful owners can find their way onto the streets and may be used in the commission of crimes. Preventing the theft of guns and their criminal misuse is an important public policy goal and the bill will protect lawful gun owners from being targeted by thieves for gun burglaries and remove an important source of information for criminals.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.7911 of 2010; S.2733/A.10151 of 2007-08.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2360 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 19, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. SEWARD, DeFRANCISCO, JOHNSON, LARKIN, O'MARA, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to confidentiality of infor- mation contained in an application for a pistol license THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 5 of section 400.00 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 332 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: 5. Filing of approved applications. The application for any license, if granted, shall be filed by the licensing officer with the clerk of the county of issuance, except that in the city of New York and, in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, the licensing officer shall designate the place of filing in the appropriate division, bureau or unit of the police department thereof, and in the county of Suffolk the county clerk is hereby authorized to transfer all records or applications relating to firearms to the licensing authority of that county.
[The name and address of any person to whom an application for any license has been granted shall be a public record.]AN APPLICATION FOR A PISTOL LICENSE, AND ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN SUCH APPLICATION, ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR THE LICENSING OFFICER OR OBTAINED BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IN THE COURSE OF AN INVESTIGATION OF AN APPLICANT, ARE CONFIDENTIAL. ANY RECORD REGARDING AN APPLICANT OR LICENSEE MAY ONLY BE RELEASED TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION. Upon application by a licensee who has changed his place of residence such records or applications shall be transferred to the appropriate officer at the licensee's new place of residence. A duplicate copy of such application shall be filed by the licensing officer in the executive department, division of state police, Albany, within ten days after issuance of theEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02237-01-1 S. 2360 2
license. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to change the expiration date or term of such licenses if otherwise provided for in law. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.