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Local News

February 22, 2013

Otsego clerk: Gun privacy forms available

COOPERSTOWN — Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott-Gardner said Thursday that new forms are available at her office that allow gun owners to signify that they want to have information pertaining to their firearms permits kept confidential.

Sinnott-Gardner said while she views several provisions of the recently enacted “SAFE Act” as imposing too many new restrictions on gun owners, she was pleased that the legislation gives them the option of keeping their pistol permit information private.

To do so, however, they must complete a form that has been distributed to the county clerks by state police, she said.

The forms are available both at her office in the county office building in Cooperstown and on the clerk’s official website:

“In all honesty, I don’t think this information is anybody’s business,” she said. “I don’t think the people who have the permits should have their names and addresses made public. People know we house the records, and I just want to help out my constituents.”

The processing of pistol permits is handled by county sheriffs, who also have the “opt out” forms, she noted.

Sinnott Gardner said that there have been new indications from the Cuomo administration that the new gun legislation could be amended to make it the presumption that gun owners want to keep their permit information private. If that happens, she said, only those who want to make their personal information public would need to complete a form.

In general, she said, the new gun law, officially known as the Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, is far too onerous on those who go through the legal process to obtain firearms.

“We seem to punish the law-abiding citizen,” she said of the legislation pushed through by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “This isn’t going to affect anyone but the law-abiding citizen.”

In response to the new law, some gun manufacturers have said they will no longer sell weapons to New York police agencies until the law is repealed.

Cuomo, often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has contended his legislation will make New York communities safer from gun violence.

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