FOIL REQUEST, Number of Assault Weapons registered are a State Secret.

I requested the total number of Assault Weapons registered under the new NY unSAFE act using a FOIL request.  NY State Police said NO and they used a section of the new law to say that it was a State Secret.  I guess that Dictator Cuomo does not want people to know how few people are registering their “Assault Weapons.”  If you know anyone who has access to this information please have them contact me.  (I was the one who kept track of the CoBIS numbers for 10+ years so I thought that I would do the same thing with the “AW” numbers.  We are spending $37 Million on something, it would be nice to know what we are getting for the money.)

MY REQUEST:

TOTAL NUMBER OF ASSAULT WEAPONS REGISTERED AS REQUIRED BY THE NY SAFE ACT.  I WOULD ALSO LIKE A BREAK DOWN BY TYPE OF ASSAULT WEAPON, RIFLE, SHOTGUN OR PISTOL.  I WOULD ALSO LIKE A REPORT OF TOTAL NUMBERS OF ASSAULT WEAPONS REGISTERED BY COUNTY.  REPORTS AS OF DATE OF JUNE 15 IF POSSIBLE.

THEIR REPLY:

This responds to your e-mail correspondence dated and received at this office on June 19, 2013, requesting the total number of assault weapons registered as required by the NY Safe Act to include a break down of the type of assault weapon, rifle, shotgun or pistol as well as the total numbers of assault weapons registered by county, pursuant to the requirements of Article 6 of the Public Officers Law (Freedom of Information).

Please be advised that Public Officers Law § 87(2)(a) states that an “agency may deny access to records or portions thereof that . . . are specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute.”  FOIL broadly defines “record” as “any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever.”  Public Officers Law § 86(4) (emphasis added).

Penal Law § 400.00(5)(a) provides, among other things, that “[r]ecords assembled or collected for purposes of inclusion in the database established by this section shall be released pursuant to a court order.  Records assembled or collected for purposes of inclusion in the database created pursuant to section 400.02 of this chapter shall not be subject to disclosure pursuant to [FOIL].”  Emphasis added.

The records you seek are specifically exempted from disclosure under FOIL by Penal Law § 400.00(5)(a).  The “general numbers” that you seek are information kept by the State Police in a physical form and, thus, plainly constitute “records.”  Further, section 400.00(5)(a) prohibits disclosure of any record assembled or collected for purposes of inclusion in the State Police database.  Because the records you seek are derived from documents that were assembled or collected for purposes of inclusion in the State Police’s database, they are not subject to disclosure under FOIL.

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9 Responses to FOIL REQUEST, Number of Assault Weapons registered are a State Secret.

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