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News/Opinion

Names, Addresses of Gun Owners to be Released to Company That Sells Information?


An online company that compiles and sells data to its customers has submitted a FOIL request to Onondaga County, located in central New York.

Via Syracuse.com:

Onondaga County announced today it has received a request for the names and addresses of pistol permit holders from an online company that compiles and sells data.

Sheriff Kevin Walsh said the county may not be obligated to release the names, however, to the company, emerges.com. He said the state sheriffs association is researching whether the state’s Freedom of Information Law allows the county to withhold the data if it would be sold afterward.

“They do seem to be a company that’s selling the information for soliciting purposes, so that might be an exception,” Walsh said. “I anticipate having an answer on that tomorrow.”

According to the company’s website, eMerges gathers public records of hunters and anglers. “We deliver the refined, hybrid list of hunters and fishers to you in a standardized Excel compatible format and at a reasonable price,” the site says.

State Assemblyman and possible gubernatorial contender, Steve McLaughlin posted to his Facebook page that he trusts that the county will “do the right thing and deny this FOIL request as the company is clearly using it for commercial purposes.”

Late last night however, 5 hours after the Syracuse.com report was released, WSYR-9 reported that “the names and addresses of anyone with a pistol permit in Onondaga County will soon be available to the public.”

WSYR claims the Onondoga County sheriff’s office will release the list, though there was “still time to keep your information private from public view” by filing an exemption.

NRA lobbyist, Scott Armstrong, tells YNN News that “publicizing who own guns will cause more harm” and “could be incentive for criminals looking to steal.”

Armstrong also responded to McLaughlin’s Facebook posting, claiming that this FOIL request “was filed with every county in New York state.”

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker, FoxNews.com, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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