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Assemblyman: No Public Release Of Handgun Owners' Names

State Assemblyman David Rible wants to bar publication of handgun owners' information following New York paper's move to publish 30,000 names and addresses

State Assemblyman David Rible says he wants to prevent the public release of handgun permit holders' personal information and plans to introduce a bill that would do just that, according to a release.

Rible (R-Monmouth) said Monday that he plans to introduce a bill barring from the public the names of New Jersey residents who hold a handgun permits after a New York newspaper published the names and addresses of tens of thousands of permit holders about two weeks ago.

The Journal News in White Plains, NY, published the article, “The Gun Owner Next Door: What You Don’t Know About the Weapons in Your Neighborhood,” which published the names and addresses of more than 30,000 handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. The article, which obtained the names and addresses from publicly available documents, also contained a map of the handgun permit holders.

The paper received widespread criticism for the move, and when the outrage became threatening, it hired armed guards to protect its main office and a bureau. Employees who felt unsafe at home were offered hotel rooms, at the paper’s expense.

“I’m very concerned that what I think this does is set up a blueprint for people to find out who has what kinds of guns and where they live,’’ Rible said. “It’s a major public security problem.’’

The Journal News article, it should be noted, published the names and addresses of handgun permit holders. Holding a permit does not necessarily mean each owns a gun.

Rible said he was coordinating with New York state GOP Senator Greg Ball, who has called the Journal News’ move a “nightmare’’ and urged people cancel their subscriptions to the paper. Ball’s office is also crafting legislation barring the publication of gun owners’ information. Rible said he hoped to have a draft bill ready by the end of the week.

“Maybe we can actually have two states on the same page,’’ Rible said.

Rible said that the publication of handgun permit holders could be helpful to criminals looking for guns and could be used as an easy means to track down the home addresses of police, who are among those licensed to carry handguns.

“Making this information available in the newspaper essentially provides a blueprint for criminals looking for guns,” Rible said. “I think that information should be available only to law enforcement.”

Rible compared the availability of gun owners’ information to that of lottery winners.

In December, the Assembly unanimously passed a bill that would allow state lottery winners to keep their identities private for up to one year. The state lottery commission, a state agency, collects the names and addresses of lottery winners, which are considered public records. The bill has not yet been taken up by the Senate.

“It’s okay to win the lottery and remain anonymous, but not for gun owners,’’ Rible said. “It doesn’t seem right.”

Eyeballs January 10, 2013 at 04:59 PM
There's no enumerated right to free speech in the Constitution either, is there? There are these things called Amendments you might want to familarize yourself with.
Eyeballs January 10, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Joe, you sound like you have something to hide.
Eyeballs January 10, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Joe, when your wife finds out you cheated, are you going to tell her there's no ennumerated right to marry in the Constitution? Let me know, after you regain consciousness, how well that went.
Eyeballs January 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Couple of points... no, there is no enumerated right to marry in the Constitution. The Constitution isn't a list of enumerated rights at all. It is a list of things the government is empowered to do. What's not listed is reserved to the states and the people. Second, you probably would agree that there's a right to privacy, which the Supreme Court established. This would include, I assume you agree, the right to practice homosexuality. If that's so, should the newspapers be permitted to "out" those practicing homosexuality against their will? Of course not - it would violate their right to privacy. Gun owners aren't doing anything illegal. They too have a right to privacy. Or do you think that right to privacy should be at the whim of those in power? So, next time the opposing party is in power, they should have the right to out you if you're engaging in activity they don't like? Owning a gun is legal and is different than illegal activity which is routinly published in the papers. I'm surprised you would cede such power to the government, just because the issue of gun restriction is fashionable. Wait till you're out of fashion!
Kevin Fox January 10, 2013 at 08:13 PM
For your education: Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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