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Erie County Clerk Talks Opt-Out Provision of SAFE Act

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Buffalo: Erie County Clerk Talks Opt-Out Provision of SAFE Act
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NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. -- "If you didn't know about this right now, the time will go by, your name will become public, your address will become public and the fact that you have guns and everything else," said Niagara Gun Range owner Dennis Deasy.

It's a hot topic of discussion at the Niagara Gun Range. A provision of the state’s new SAFE Act allows pistol permit owners to opt-out of having their registration information available for public disclosure. Deasy owns the Gun Range. He thinks making pistol owner information public puts gun owners and everyone at risk.

"You may as well lock your door and then hang it on a string on your front door where everybody can just walk in and take your stuff. This is crazy," said Deasy.

The provision was included in the new law after a recent incident in Westchester County where a newspaper obtained all of the county permit holder information and published it with a map of all their residences. The move came under fire.

"I really do think this was a blow back on someone who kind of abused the FOIL information," said Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.

Jacobs wants to make it easy for pistol permit holders to opt-out of making their information public. As part of the new provision, state police will have the opt-out forms available by February 15th. That form will be available through Erie County government website.

"In an effort to get that document out to our pistol permit holder community as quickly as possible, we've created a weblink so they can go on now, before we get the applications, give us their e-mails an as soon as we get the application in electronic form, we'll email it out to everyone," said Jacobs.

Jacobs says pistol permit holders have 60 days to submit the form to the Clerk’s office to make sure your information can't be accessed.

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