NY Court Rules That Police Agencies Can Redact Addresses in Gun Permits


A New York appellate court ruled Tuesday that the home addresses of gun-permit holders and hate-crime victims must be redacted from databases released under the state's Freedom of Information Law, reports the New York Times. The case stemmed from several requests for data that the Times filed in 2010 with the NYPD. The city denied the requests, but in November 2011, a lower court directed the department to provide the data with the addresses. The decision by the First Department of the Appellate Division, a midlevel appeals court, reversed the lower court's decision and held that privacy concerns were legitimate grounds to deny the request.

In December, The Journal News of Westchester County published the names and addresses of thousands of gun-permit holders, a decision that drew a large number of complaints and some threats. The newspaper eventually removed the information from its Web site. Such data can be used for other research, including eliminating cases of mistaken identity and matching the information with other publicly available material. The state gun law passed last month also restricts to previously public information about gun permits. The law requires that for its first 120 days, no information about gun-permit holders in a new statewide gun-registration database be made available publicly.

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