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Rible: No Public Release Of Handgun Owners' Names

State Assemblyman 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.”

anonymous January 09, 2013 at 03:24 PM
"If you scared enough for your safety to purchase a gun" Mr. Clark: In your tiny little anti-gun mind, is this the only reason you can imagine someone purchases a firearm? How about the fact that it is a constitutional right? How about the person might enjoy hunting? How about the person might enjoy target shooting? How about the person may be fascinated by firearms and collects them? Did any of that occur to you? As for your snide remark about 'accidentally' killing one's own child, legal gun owners have so few accidents each year it is quite nearly statistically unmeasurable. Perhaps you should educate yourself and get past your obvious bias. Check this for one: http://www.tincher.to/deaths.htm
major January 09, 2013 at 03:30 PM
The big deal is: Homes with guns are now the target of criminals because they want my guns. Thats the big deal!!
George Clark January 09, 2013 at 04:45 PM
if owning a gun makes your home a bigger target, and it's open record for criminals whom aren't as stupid or lazy as you all think they are, then you buying a gun for protection seems to have defeated the purpose. I like guns and would love to pay my way into getting a permit, which any nut job can do now with the aid of lawyers and cash. stop trying to sell me on no gun control because I'm pro gun and hunting is fine as long as they aren't endangered species, which most of hunting nuts don't care if they are. please don't tell me about accidental shootings. I know about them. If knowing who's got guns is the law, then either change it or shut up about it. I think it makes sense to know who's got guns. I think we all should, even nuts like you two. lol. shalom. homes are now targets with guns. get a grip and not on your ak
Jeff January 09, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Major, that's just stupid. Criminals don't rob homes to get guns, they can easily buy them just about anywhere. There are no statistics that back your ridiculous assertion. According to the NRA, owning a gun makes you LESS of a target, not more. No criminal is going to risk getting shot dead when they can easily get a gun elsewhere.
Jeff January 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Assemblyman Rible is just a sensationalistic fool seeking to capitalize on the current media popularity to add unnecessary legislation, instead of spending time working on actual issues that affect the populace. It's ALREADY illegal in New Jersey to publish this information, according to the New Jersey Press Association. In New York, there's a law which specifically makes such information available, in New Jersey, there is not. Go do something useful, Rible, and stop wasting our time and tax dollars!

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