Provisions in the NY SAFE Act that allow pistol owners to keep that ownership private may be too little too late for many of them.
That’s because since 2010, the website Paladium.net has been making their names public.
Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said he first became aware of the website after the March 16 We The People rally in Schoharie.
Sheriff Desmond said he forwarded the website address-- www.paladium.net/usa-farnewyorkstate0000PistolPermit2010Jun_01.php--to the New York State Sheriff’s Association; attorneys there said Monday that they could only talk off the record and referred questions to Sheriff’s Association President Patrick O’Flynn of Monroe County.
Sheriff Desmond said the gun owners are afraid the website, which in some cases lists addresses and phone numbers, sets them up for break-ins by thieves looking to re-sell the guns.
“They’re concerned for their own safety,” he said.
Like other licenses issued by New York State, Sheriff Desmond said, information on who’s licensed to carry a pistol has long been public.
It’s only with the NY SAFE Act that that’s changed; pistol owners now have the option of opting out of having their gun ownership made public.
“It really surprised me,” Sheriff Desmond said of the website. “It’s really a tangled web.”
Larry Bradt, Carlisle supervisor and the man behind the March 16 pro-gun rally, was more than a little surprised to find his name on the website list.
“I think it’s a bad idea that puts people at risk,” he said. “Most people believed this information was confidential. They should be outraged that it’s not.”
Both Mr. Bradt and Sheriff Desmond are also angered by another provision of state law that’s been on the books since last year, but is only now being implemented.
The provision “allows people to rat out their neighbors,” by reporting illegal guns to the Department of Criminal Justice Services by calling 855-GUNSNYS for up to a $500 reward, Sheriff Desmond said.
“It’s an idea begun to get drugs out of the hands of gang members and drug dealers that doesn’t have much relevance for rural communities like ours,” he said, adding that that’s the case with most of the NY SAFE Act.
It’s something the Sheriff’s Association is looking into as well, he said.
Mr. Bradt called the tip line “problematic.”
“Paying people to snitch on their neighbors? I don’t see any good coming of that. And how is it that we didn’t know anything about this till now?” he said.
“It doesn’t seem like any of this has been very well thought out.”
That could change as soon as Tuesday.
Sheriff O’Flynn said the Sheriff’s Association will be meeting with Governor Cuomo’s staff Tuesday to discuss what he called “responsible” changes to the legislation.
“I’m optimistic,” Sheriff O’Flynn said. “I think we’re all asking whether this legislation is going to make a difference in gun homicides. We’re hoping they’ll at least consider some of the suggestions we make.”