Rensselaer County pistol permit holders opt-out options begin

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RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. – Rensselaer County officials are
spreading the word that all Rensselaer
County pistol permit
holders that they can request to keep their pistol permit information
confidential under the newly enacted SAFE act effective February 15, 2013.

On Friday, the State police will have what is known as the
“opt-out” form available on their website for those permit holders who desire
to keep their information confidential. 

This form allows the holder to request the County licensing
authority to keep their information confidential, thus preventing the record
from being made available to FOIL requests.

A supply of forms is also available at office of County Clerk
Frank J. Merola for applicants to pick up at their leisure, and the form will
also be available at www.rensco.com for
online retrieval. 

Permit holders who wish to have these forms mailed or
e-mailed may contact www.pistoloptout@rensco.com.

The SAFE act amends the former law which allowed
individuals, organizations or any interested party to request the entire pistol
database, including names and addresses of license holders, under the Freedom
of Information Law (FOIL). 

Concerns over safety issues, such as criminals targeting
homes based on this information, revealing the names and addresses of law
enforcement or those who have orders of protection for security reasons
prompted County Clerks to lobby the legislature to modify the law under the
SAFE act to allow holders to keep their records private. 

Under the SAFE act, current license holders have 120 days
from February 15, 2013 to file this form with the NYS Police.

“The Governor and legislature should keep this entire list
confidential as far as I am concerned.” 
Mr. Merola said, “I still don't understand why an organization or
individual needs such a list that has the potential to expose so many people to
danger.  That being said, we will work
with our holders to provide them the forms and remind them to file these forms as
soon as they can to ensure that their records remain confidential.”

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