FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Donald L. Bernardo,
against Docket #FIC 90-187
Weapons Unit, State of Connecticut Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police,
Respondent May 8, 1991
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 7, 1990, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter filed with this Commission on May 18, 1990, the complainant alleged that the respondent partially denied his request for public records under the FOI Act.
3. It is found that by letter dated January 13, 1990, the complainant requested of the respondent a copy of the record of all holders of state-issued permits for carrying pistols or revolvers as issued under 29-28, G.S., including the name, full address and expiration date of all such holders.
4. It is also found that after correspondence between the parties establishing that the complainant agreed to a cost of $2,400 for such records, by letter dated May 7, 1990, the respondent agreed to provide a list of names and respective expiration dates, but refused to disclose the permitees' addresses (including the requested "address, city, state and zip code"), which addresses are the sole records at issue in this case.
5. At the hearing, the following groups were granted intervenor status: the state police union, AFSCME on behalf of the corrections officers bargaining unit, and the Connecticut Sportsman's Alliance.
Docket #FIC 90-187 Page 2
6. The complainant noted that there exists no statutory exemption to disclosure of the addresses he seeks.
7. It is found that at the time of the hearing, approximately 103,000 permits were in effect in the State of Connecticut.
8. The respondent claims that the address information contained in the records at issue could constitute a "shopping list" of locations for criminals who wish to steal firearms.
9. It is found that address information is routinely available from other public sources such as telephone directories and voter registration lists.
10. It is also found that individuals who supply gun permit information are allowed to supply post office boxes as their addresses.
11. It is also found that the application information is retained both on a computer base and on 3x5 inch cards in a card file.
12. It is concluded that the requested records are not contained in a personnel, medical or similar file within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
13. It is also concluded that, pursuant to City of Hartford v. Krieg, Docket No. 14 18 67, Court of Common Pleas, Hartford County, Memorandum of Decision dated December 1977 (Kinney, J.), holders of gun permits do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information contained in their applications.
14. It is also concluded that the respondent failed to prove the requested records are exempt from disclosure under any state statute or federal law.
15. It is concluded therefore that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to disclose the requested records.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The respondent shall forthwith provide to the complainant a copy of the requested record, as described in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the findings, above.
Docket #FIC 90-187 Page 3
2. Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the provisions of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 8, 1991.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 90-187 Page 4
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
DONALD L. BERNARDO
80 Thorson Road
Oxford, CT 06483
WEAPONS UNIT, STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, DIVISION OF STATE POLICE
c/o Stephen R. Sarnoski, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
CONNECTICUT SPORTSMAN ALLIANCE
c/o Robert T. Crook
408 Copse Road
Madison, CT 06443
STATE POLICE UNION
c/o Robert J. Krzys, Esq.
97 Oak Street
Hartford, CT 06106-1515
c/o Barbara J. Collins, Esq.
Gagne & Collins
207 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission