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Wall Legislator's Gun Permit Privacy Bill Passes Assembly

Bill seeks to keep gun permit holders' information away from the public

Legislation that would exclude from public release the names of gun permit holders handily passed the state Assembly Thursday.

The Assembly voted 77-0 in favor of A-3788, a bill introduced by Assemblyman Dave Rible of Wall, along with Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer, both R-Monmouth and Ocean. The bill seeks to prohibit public access to the names and addresses of gun permit holders under the state’s Open Public Records Act. The bill now moves to the state Senate.

Rible previously has said he is opposed to the release of such information because it could prove potentially dangerous to gun owners who follow the rules and to law enforcement officers.

“Releasing personal information about those who have firearms permits or licenses puts law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens in harm’s way,” Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, said in a statement. “This legislation will codify that obtaining such information is restricted to those in law enforcement or the courts.”

The bill is in reaction to the recent publication of gun permit holders’ names and addresses in a New York newspaper.

The Journal News in White Plains, NY, published the article, “The Gun Owner Next Door: What You Don’t Know About the Weapons in Your Neighborhood,” which published the names and addresses of more than 30,000 handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. The article, which obtained the names and addresses from publicly available documents, also contained a map of the handgun permit holders.

The paper received widespread criticism for the move, and when the outrage became threatening, it hired armed guards to protect its main office and a bureau. Employees who felt unsafe at home were offered hotel rooms, at the paper’s expense.

Rible has compared the availability of gun owners’ information to that of lottery winners.

In December, the Assembly unanimously passed a bill that would allow state lottery winners to keep their identities private for up to one year. The state lottery commission, a state agency, collects the names and addresses of lottery winners, which are considered public records. The bill has not yet been taken up by the Senate.

“It’s okay to win the lottery and remain anonymous, but not for gun owners,’’ Rible has said. “It doesn’t seem right.”

Nj Ghost February 22, 2013 at 09:54 PM
ssk says: "The second amendment is quite short and says nothing about privacy." .......I'm afraid you have to go to the 9th amendment for that.
Nj Ghost February 22, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Actually Laura I, and you as well, may purchase all the guns you want.....UMMM that pesky second amendment again I guess.
ssk February 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM
You can find out anything you want about anyone for a few dollars on the internet. I don't live under the assumption that there is much privacy. Whether I have a gun permit, a dog permit or a pool permit it's no secret. If I'm a public employee you can see how much money I make and how many vacation days I get. The journalists who published the information had questionable journalistic integrity, but the information IS public record. There are several gun owners in my family and they are not particularly paranoid about people knowing they have a gun. I think it's expected with certain professions. I have a good alarm system and that works for my peace of mind.
Nj Ghost February 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM
" a good alarm system and it works for me" well SSK . seems you won't stop whining about my gun. If you ever hear your alarm go off in the middle of the night simply call the Police then order a pizza and see who gets there first........And no, I won't tell you if I have a gun because it's none of your business.
country joe February 23, 2013 at 12:26 AM
why pay for it when I can get it for free ? I dont even need to know your name or address, just point and click, all the info I need is there for free.. while your address has a gun your neighbor (me) doesn't. thats what I'm paranoid about.. alarms are great, but how many are armed 24/7? I'll take a hand gun over any alarm system any day that works for my peace of mind.

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