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Gun issues are on state lawmakers’ minds

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ALBANY – State lawmakers could consider a measure this session limiting public access to pistol permit holders’ information.

Senator Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said she is tentatively supportive of measures aimed at keeping the personal data of pistol permit carriers out of the public eye.

“Right now if you were to call up [the county] you can find out if someone has a pistol permit,” Mrs. Ritchie said.

Mrs. Ritchie said having the information available helps to provide a certain measure of public safety, but she doesn’t think it should be broadcast by media outlets.

“I’m waiting to see what the leadership does,” Mrs. Ritchie said about the issue.

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, is introducing legislation later this week that will prevent the public from having access to the personal information of pistol permit carriers.

This comes after the Journal News, White Plains, published the names and addresses of all pistol permit carriers in Westchester and Rockland counties in December, including law enforcement agents.

Mrs. Russell is including the protection of pistol permit carriers in a larger bill that will increase the penalties for murdering a first responder.

“Mark’s Law,” named for a Cape Vincent emergency medical technician who was murdered while responding to an emergency call in 2009, was originally proposed by Mrs. Ritchie, but failed to pass the Assembly in 2012.

Mrs. Russell is including her new proposals in an updated version of Mark’s Law she hopes will garner the support of her chamber. Mrs. Russell will make an official announcement regarding her bill on Friday at 11 a.m. in Watertown.

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