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Oneida County: Pistol owners should file opt out paperwork

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is now urging gun owners who do not want their information made public, to fill out the "opt out" form.

This goes against the county's original stance on the issue of pistol permit FOIL requests.

Originally the Oneida County Pistol Permit Office had said not to send the "opt out" forms in.

Now, Picente is urging and encouraging all gun owners who want their information to remain private to fill out the form and turn it in to the local pistol permit office by May 2013.

"It's a reverse of the stance that was initially taken," Picente said. "The forms will be processed and we'll go from there."

Picente was joined Thursday by Judge Michael Dwyer of Oneida County Court at a press conference.

Picente says the passing of the NY Safe Act bring with it a host of concerns.

"This county government supports Judge Dwyer on his position that all citizens deserve a right to privacy, particularly those who have pistol permits, " Picente said, "...and we will defend that position to whatever extent as the law comes our way and as we go forward with this policy."

Dwyer said with so many gun owners choosing to opt out on disclosing their information, it would be less paperwork to have an "opt in" form, but that's not the case.

"It's hard to understand why someone would have the objective to publish the names and home addresses of the gun owners," Dwyer said. "I just don't see what it would accomplish."

Dwyer laid out several hypothetical situations of problems that could arise if the names and home addresses of gun owners are made public.

"People with drug problems who are desperate for money want to go to a house where they can get in and get out with something small and valuable that can be pawned or sold on the street," Dwyer said. "If they were to go to a website and get a listing as to where guns are stored, that address would probably be more attractive as a burglary site than a home of someone who didn't have a pistol."

The opt out form is now available now at the county's website.

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