About a week after other county officials denied a newspaper's request for the names and address of gun permit holders, Putnam District Attorney Adam B. Levy issued this statement:
Levy announced his opposition to the release of the names and addresses of licensed gun owners in Putnam County, as was requested by The Journal News in their Freedom of Information Request (F.O.I.L.).
“This is a public safety issue—not a gun issue” said DA Levy, Putnam County’s chief law enforcement officer. “The disclosure of the names and residential addresses of licensed permit holders endangers the safety and well-being of those citizens along with their neighbors.”
DA Levy continued, “Whether you’re a vetted, licensed gun owner or the neighbor of one, the last thing you want is for that information to end up in the hands of a criminal. My goal is to keep lawfully purchased guns out of the hands of those criminals. To release the information as requested by The Journal News would put all our citizens at risk.”
“Putnam County is one of the safest counties in New York to live and raise a family. To disclose the information so it’s available to people with criminal intentions is unacceptable and irresponsible” said DA Levy.
DA Levy supports the decision by Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant and County Executive MaryEllen Odell to deny The Journal News FOIL request.
Check out the following information for more on the situation.
- Click here for a release that details officials' positions.
- Click here for a story about the situation and the Freedom of Information Law—as well as the process that follows when a request is denied.
- Click here for a story about threats The Journal News received after posting maps revealing folks in Rockland and Westchester who carry gun permits.
- Click here for video of a press conference with officials explaining the denial.
- State Sen. Greg Ball is pushing a bill that would "prohibit the public disclosure of information in an application for a pistol license with exceptions for prosecutors and police conducting an active investigation." The bill, he said, "would protect lawful gun owners from being targeted by thieves for firearm burglaries and eliminate a database criminals could use to extort their identity-theft victims."