Rochester, N.Y. - The opt-out forms went public for the first time last week. Under New York State's new SAFE ACT law, the pistol permit holders who want their personal information to remain private and protected from the public at large must submit these opt-out forms.
And they are doing just that in large numbers.
Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo showed 13WHAM News two large stacks of completed forms Monday afternoon.
In just five business days more than 6,000 forms have arrived at her office.
Dinolfo's office proactively tried to contact the roughly 45,000 permit holders in Monroe County in advance of the state's release of this form. The objective was to gain an email address so the form could be immediately available to those residents.
About 5,000 Monroe County permit holders took advantage of that service.
Following the passage of the NY SAFE ACT, all the information of these permit holders was concealed from public view at various clerk's offices.
The state then set into motion a series of measures that would allow for it to again be made public, unless the pistol permit holder completed a form wishing for it to remain private.
Now permit holders wishing to do that must return a completed form to their respective county clerk's office by May 15th.
While that represents the legal deadline for these forms, Dinolfo said it could be followed by months of processing and she explained law specifically states this information is not to be made public until the processing of these forms is complete.
The forms must then be reviewed by a member of the judiciary before returning to the clerk's office for filing.
Dinolfo and other county clerks around New York state have pointed to these opt-out forms as just one example of the additional costs of this NY SAFE Act passes on to local municipalities.
To locate one of these forms, contact your local county clerk's office.
Often they are available online, but must be returned in person or by mail.