Owners of Handguns in New York State

January 5, 2013

On December 14, 2012, one individual — who apparently obtained by force several semi-automatic firearms from a family member — shot and killed 26 innocent victims at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT. 

The firearms included one rifle – the controversial .223 caliber Bushmaster AR-15 — which by several definitions has been categorized as an assault weapon. 

The other semi-automatic weapons were hand guns – one was a 10 mm Glock which can accommodate a 15 round magazine. The other was a Sig Sauer 9 mm, which can accommodate a maximum capacity of 20 bullets.

 Following this tragic event, a nearby regional newspaper – The Journal News — filed a freedom of information act (FOIA) request with Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties in NYS seeking the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in these counties.

 By New York State law, the name and address of individual permit holders licensed to own a handgun — a pistol or revolver – is public record.

 Owners of ‘long guns’ — rifles or shotguns which can be purchased without a permit — are not subject to public record disclosure.

 I just listened to a radio interview with NYS Senator Gregory Ball on the controversial ‘outing’ of the names and addresses of hand gun permit holders by The Journal News.

 In the interview, Senator Ball was adamant in his opposition to releasing information (which is required under NYS law) based on his personal values and opinions.

 Senator Ball has held elected office in New York State since 2007. Several times, he has taken an oath of office to “…support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of New York…”

 The Journal News published names and addresses of hand gun permit holders from public record information obtained from Rockland and Westchester counties, which is both legal and appropriate in New York State.

 Officials in Putnam County have refused to release the gun permit information to The Journal News.

 Senator Ball has joined with other elected and appointed public officials in Putnam County to oppose the FOIA request from The Journal News.

 This FOIA request seems to follow the laws of the State of New York; thus is fully in compliance with the Constitution of the State of New York.

 It is my belief that NYS Senator Gregory Ball has violated his oath of office and thus should be sanctioned and removed from public office and further subject to any civil or criminal penalties which are available and appropriate for elected officials in New York State who flagrantly and blatantly violate their oath of office.

 It is time for honest and productive discussion about firearms in New York State and across the U.S.

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