January 15, 2013

The New York Times | USA Today | Albany Times Union
The New York state Assembly passed new gun legislation Tuesday that broadens the definition of assault weapons and requires mental health professionals to report anyone they thought may become dangerous.

It will also shield gun owners’ names, Thomas Kaplan and Danny Hakim report:

…in response to a controversy that erupted after The Journal News, a daily newspaper, published the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties, the legislation would prohibit disclosure of the names in the new statewide gun-registration database, and would allow individuals to exempt their own names and addresses from being disclosed by counties that have such databases.

Licensing officials, in most cases at the county level, would be able to decide whether the exception should be granted,” Jon Campbell reports.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says he’ll sign the legislation. The New York state Senate passed the bill Monday night. Putnam County Sen. Greg Ball was among the Republicans who voted against the bill. Ball, Campbell reports, “knocked the proposal as a way to boost Cuomo’s presidential prospects.”

“We haven’t saved any lives tonight except for one — the political life of a governor who wants to be president,” Ball said on the Senate floor.

Ball had previously advocated for legislation that would make disclosing the names of gun-permit owners a matter of discretion for law-enforcement officials. Putnam County has said it will fight the Journal News’ request for data on gun owners. Last month the Gannett paper published a map with gun permit data from Westchester and Rockland counties. Since then, they have faced threats and criticism.

Previously: New York politicians will push for law to keep handgun records secret

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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