Gun owner privacy causing controversy

Posted at: 02/21/2013 5:48 PM
Updated at: 02/22/2013 3:10 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

It's a form that will protect their privacy, but some gun owners are calling it another attack on their second amendment rights.

As part of the law, in three months, personal information about gun owners will be available on the Monroe County website unless gun owners fill out a form to make that information private. All of this has many gun owners upset.

News10NBC spoke to gun owners who say they shouldn't have to go above and beyond to protect their privacy. But others disagree, they say they'd like to know how many guns are on their block.  

If the line at the Monroe County Clerk's Office seems longer than usual, it is. Many gun owners say they are applying to keep their privacy.

Dale Michael, against foil form, said, “I don't like it at all. I think it's just more harassment for legal law abiding gun owners like myself. Which is ridiculous. I'm not happy about it at all.”

In a few months, public information about gun owners will be posted on county clerk websites. So far, more than 4,000 people in Monroe County have filled out the privacy form and the Monroe County Clerk's Office says it is expecting many more.
Michael said, “I shouldn't have to share it with anybody.”

News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion said, “What do you say to parents who say I want to know if I’m sending my kids over my next door neighbor's house. What do you say to them?”

Michael said, “I would tell them I went through all the loops. I did everything I was supposed to do. FBI, background checks, everything I was supposed to do. It's none of your business.”

But some parents say they do have a right to know.

Mersida Jasic, foil form supporter, said, “I want to make sure who his friends are. What kind of parents his friends have. I just want to make sure my son is protected.”

Concepcion said, “A lot of gun owners say this is a violation of privacy. What do you think?”

Jasic said, “That's ridiculous, because you need to make sure your child is safe.”

News10NBC caught up with Senator Joe Robach. He believes the foil form will show criminals homes to burglarize, making those homes potential targets. He's calling it a bad public policy, saying the goal should not be gun control, but crime control. We wanted him to know what parents were saying.

Concepcion said, “Senator, I asked a parent today and she told me that if she's sending her kids to someone's house she wants to know or be able to know if they have guns or not. What do you say to parents?”

Senator Robach said, “Well, I think this. Obviously as a father myself, I have to know every place my kids go and where they are. There are tons of people I know from doctors, lawyers, nurses, many women who safely have guns in their home. I doubt highly that somebody before a kid goes to their birthday party is going to go on a registry and say I’m not going to let that person go there.”

Since this is a state police form , there is a hotline you can call if you have any questions. It is 1-855-529-4867 and also if you would like to apply for the form online or send an email to the county clerk's office.