Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Wednesday that it will deny a FOIL request submitted by a company called emerges.com.
The request was reported in August. At that time, the Sheriff’s Office indicated that it would release the information for gun owners who had not completed a pistol license information exemption form.
Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh said he decided to refrain from providing the FOILed information because although the company said they would not sell the information to another party, he says there is every reason to believe it would.
"They have told us they wouldn't be selling these lists but we have every reason to believe that given the nature of their business that there is a great probability they would be selling those lists, so we have grounds to deny on that alone,” Walsh said.
Another of the legal grounds the Sheriff used for denying this FOIL request is the fact that he says there are still about four or five thousand opt out forms they haven't processed.
Under the NYS SAFE Act, permit holders can request that their firearms license not be included in public records.
Previously, permits were automatically a matter of public record.
The Sheriff believes the State Government should have considered making pistol permits off limits for FOIL requests when it designed the SAFE Act in the first place.
"I think the thing that really bothers me about this whole thing is why the State didn't just pass a law that says pistol permit licenses are not FOIL-able,” Walsh said.
Walsh said he hopes his decision is a message to leaders in Albany that a change needs to be made in the SAFE Act. Click here to obtain a copy of the exemption form
The form needs to be dropped off or mailed to the agency where the pistol permit was obtained.