Clerks Overwhelmed by Gun Opt-Out Forms

by Haley Viccaro, WGRZ.com  |  published on April 1, 2013

NY gun control

County clerks around New York said they are struggling with thousands of pistol permit opt-out forms flooding their offices and with no money from the state for the additional work.

A provision in New York’s new gun-control law provides state residents with the option to fill out a form that would keep their pistol permit records exempt from Freedom of Information requests. State Police released the forms on Feb. 15, and permit holders have until May 15 to complete the forms or risk having their information available to the public.

Monroe County has received 11,000 forms. Westchester County has received 9,000, and Broome County has gotten in 4,000. Clerks report long lines of people submitting the forms.

“It started a little slow the first week with a couple of hundred a day, and now we get about 700 to 800 at the most per day,” said Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni. “People realize that the deadline is approaching soon to get these forms in.”

Westchester County has received opt-out forms from more than half of the 16,800 people who have active pistol permits, Idoni said. The provision was included in a state gun-control law in January after the Journal News, a Gannett Co. Inc. publication, released an interactive map last December of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

The gun-control law expands an assault-weapons ban, requires registration of guns every five years and limits the number of bullets in a magazine to seven.

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