Greetings Clerk Piperato,
Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I hope all is well with you. Due to an article by the Rockland County Times, It has come to my attention that The Journal News is putting in another FOIL request for pistol license holders names and addresses. When they first did this in 2006, I spoke to you on the phone regarding the safety issue this created for the public in general and you expressed that it was their legal right to have the information supplied. As a result, my name and town of residence was published on an Excel spreadsheet on their website along with thousands of others who had committed no crime and in fact were penalized for obeying the law. These were easily punched into any search engine to obtain full addresses. At the time, I took note that Putnam “was not able to supply the records due to not having a computerized system.”
Fast forward to 2012 where they made a request and you once again supplied the information only to have them create an interactive map that actually pinpointed the homes of, I’ll say it again, law abiding citizens. This as you are aware lit a fire that spread across the country and has galvanized gun owners. Oddly enough, when “we the people” employed the same tactics as these so-called journalists, we were called a danger to them and in the ultimate act of hypocrisy, they hired armed guards to protect themselves. from themselves! I wonder, did their having armed guards so close to West Nyack Elementary cause a safety issue for the kids? What if one of them went nuts? What about the children? If we only save one life. But I digress.
Once again, it was noteworthy that Dennis Sant exercised his legal right to refuse their request. and you did not. Now it is 2013 and we have yet another request from The Journal News for pistol license information. What I am hoping is that you have learned from your last two encounters with them that they cannot be trusted to handle this information in a responsible way that will not create a public safety hazard as it did the last two times for gun owners and non-gun owners alike. The Journal News has repeatedly proven that they have no regard for public safety and are only interested in circulation. Why should they care? None of them live here.
I feel that these records should be sealed for obvious public safety reasons and at the very least, the request should be denied and if it be necessary, let the courts decide. Why would anyone other than Law Enforcement need access to these records? Why should I have to “opt out” in order to hopefully protect my family from ridicule or worse? Sir, this is your third time at bat, don’t strike out. Please do not allow those who obey the law to be treated as criminals.
Thank you for writing about your concerns in regard to the Journal News FOIL requests. Please be assured that Mr. Piperato fully understands your concerns and he will be challenging any further FOIL requests for Pistol License holder information. This challenge is due to a discrepancy in the new SAFE Law, and will be made with the safety of Rockland residents in mind. Please feel free to contact us with further questions and concerns as your input is very important to Mr. Piperato.
Confidential Asst. to the County Clerk