Taking another step to reduce gun violence in New York, Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced the SFY 2013-2014 Budget will provide $27.7 million to the Office of Information Technology Services for an electronic gun permit database, as called for in the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act.
The funding will support the creation of a statewide database of all handgun licenses in New York. The database will enable the State Police to crosscheck the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to determine if any current licensees have been legally disqualified from possessing firearms under federal law, including those with criminal convictions, involuntary commitments, and those subject to orders of protection.
"Recent events, particularly the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, are stark reminders of the need to reduce gun violence in our communities," Silver said. "It is our duty to ensure the safety, not only of students, but all New Yorkers. This database will be a powerful tool that will aid in the enforcement of New York's gun control measures and keep more of our citizens out of harm's way."
Records collected and created for the database would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Gun permit holders can also request to have their names and addresses remain confidential at the county level by filing a document with the local licensing authority.
As part of the development of the database, the New York State Police will create statewide standards for handgun license applications. Currently, applications are handled at the local level.