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'Opt-Out' form now available to protect pistol permit holders' privacy

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Buffalo: 'Opt-Out' form now available to protect pistol permit holders' privacy
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New York State pistol permit holders can now protect their information from being made public - thanks to a new "opt-out" form put out by the State Police Friday. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us about the form, and why the Erie County Clerk says it will mean more work for his office.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Pistol permit holders across New York State now have a chance to make sure their information is never made public.

It's a provision of the New York SAFE ACT and will help prevent situations like in Westchester County, where a newspaper published a map of the county's hand gun owners.

"We think most of our over 70,000 pistol permit holders will want to have their information kept private," said Chris Jacobs, Erie County Clerk.

Those in Erie County can access the form on the Clerk's web site and mail or fax it in back to Clerk's office.

Copies will also be available at all County Auto Bureaus starting Tuesday and at the Pistol Permit Office in Old County Hall.

Jacobs says the law provides 60 days for permit holders to "opt-out" before someone can request pistol records.

"To play it safe, get it in immediately, so we have time to enter it in. This assures you that it will never get out," said Jacobs.

And with more than 70,000 permit holders in Erie County, Jacobs says there's a lot of work ahead for his office.

Jacobs said, "There was no discussion with us on how this would operate. As a consequence, we see, if you look at our pistol permit office today, it's a line out the door. I've had to already allocate overtime to try and keep up with it. We're overwhelmed. So what this is becoming is what's known as an unfunded mandate."

He says that will either create a larger burden on taxpayers, or a much longer wait for those who want to get a pistol.

Assemblyman Michael Kearns says that's part of his concern with the SAFE ACT and why he voted against it.

"I think when we're talking in Albany, next week or the following week and we're talking about where this is going budgetarily, then I think we're going to have to make those decisions on how we can help our local clerks," said Kearns.

The Erie County Clerk's office will have the forms available at the Northtown Auto Bureau on Saturday, February 16 from 9 am to 12 pm. It's located at 3095 Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

You can also access the form by clicking here.

Completed forms are to be submitted to:

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, c/o Pistol Permit Office
92 Franklin Street Buffalo, NY 14202
Forms can also be faxed to 716-858-6550, Attention: Pistol Permit Office

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