A state bill that would prohibit the public release of names of gun permit holders has moved out of a State Assembly committee Wednesday, officials said.
Sponsored by Assemblymen Dave Rible and Ron Dancer, both R-Monmouth and Ocean, the bill seeks to restrict public access to the names and addresses of gun permit holders under the state’s Open Public Records law.
Rible, a Wall resident, previously .
The bill, A-3788, passed out of the Law and Public Safety Committee Wednesday, Rible said in a release.
“Releasing personal information about those who have firearms permits or licenses puts law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens in harm’s way,” Rible said in the release. “This bill is an important step in safeguarding a person’s right to privacy and protecting them from potential predators.”
The bill is in reaction to the recent publication of gun permit holders’ names and addresses in a New York newspaper.
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.
Rible has compared the availability of gun owners’ information to that of lottery winners, who can choose to have their personal information held private for a set period of time. Gun permit holders, Rible has said, do not enjoy the same protection.