Gun policies & incidents (Volusia County, FL)

Vanessa Nason filed this request with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office of Volusia County, FL .
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From: Vanessa Nason

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Florida's Sunshine Law (Fla. Stat. secs. 119.01 to 119.15 (1995)), I hereby request the following records:

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Florida's Sunshine Law, I hereby request the following records:

All data, statistics, or reports regarding incidents involving firearms, including but not limited to:
> firearm-related homicides
> firearm-related assaults

Any and all policies, procedures, directives, memorandums, and any other guiding materials regarding matters pertaining to firearm acquisition, licensure, use, and transfer, including, but not limited to, the following:
• policies and procedures on the issuance of firearms permits and licenses. (Please note that this point is not a request for the identities of individual permit or license holders, but, rather, is a request for governmental policies and parameters regarding the process and regulations by which one may obtain either a permit or a license. If separate strictures exist for each, provision of both would be greatly appreciated.)
• policies and procedures on the revocation of firearms permits and licenses.
• any and all available policies and procedures regarding local firearms policies. Please provide all such materials that alter or supplement departmental procedures.
• policies and procedures regarding the sale and purchase of firearms. Please include all materials regarding the appropriate qualifications for the sale or purchase of firearms. Please include materials for particular venues, if available, including but not limited to the sale and purchase of firearms at gun shows.
• policies and procedures regarding the transfer, either out-of-state or between individuals, of firearms.
Please include all available segregable data.

All data, statistics, or reports regarding matters pertaining to gun acquisition, licensure, use, and transfer, including, but not limited to, the following:
• the issuance of firearms permits and licenses.
• the revocation of firearms permits and licenses.
• the sale and purchase of firearms.
• the transfer, either out-of-state or between individuals, of firearms.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Vanessa Nason

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Vanessa Nason

From: Davidson, Gary

In reviewing your request, it appears to lack sufficient specificity for purposes of identifying the records that are being requested. For instance, you request, in part, “all data, statistics or reports regarding incidents involving firearms, including but not limited to firearm-related homicides and firearm-related assaults.” Does this include all incident/police reports of any and all incidents in which a firearm is involved? Used? Present? Additionally, the request does not contain the time period that this request encompasses. With the lack of a specified date range, are we to assume that the request for records of all incidents/police reports goes as far back in time as our records do?

Additionally, I am unaware of any requirement in Florida public records law that requires a response within a specified number of days of receiving a request. Once you clarify the above, we will begin evaluating your request in order to provide you with a more substantive response.
Regards,

[cid:image001.png@01D28943.503DB080]
Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
VCSO Web Site<http://www.volusiasheriff.org/>
@VolusiaSheriff
Office: (386) 736-5989
Mobile: (386) 804-3973
After-Hours/On-Call PIO (407) 504-1871
“Information is the currency of democracy.”

From: Vanessa Nason

Hi,

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. My request for "all data, statistics or reports regarding incidents involving firearms, including but not limited to firearm-related homicides and firearm-related assaults" can be narrowed down to all incident/police reports of any and all incidents in which a firearm is used.

My entire request can be limited to 2015.

Let me know if this helps!

Thank you,

Vanessa

From: Davidson, Gary

To further clarify, does incidents “in which a firearm was used” mean that a firearm was discharged or one was simply present? Not sure if we can break it down in this manner, but trying to come to agreement with you on the definition of the terminology in your request before getting with our Records and IT sections to see what is and isn’t do-able.

From: Vanessa Nason

I would prefer it broken down into incidents in which a firearm was used. However, if this cannot be done, please send whatever firearm related incident data you may have. I'm not sure how your records are kept.

Thank you!

-Vanessa

From: Davidson, Gary

Please re-read my previous e-mail, as I don’t believe you answered my question.

From: Vanessa Nason

Sorry, my mistake! I meant I would prefer it broken down into incidents in which a firearm was discharged. However, if your records aren't broken down in this way, please let me know how they are kept.

Thank you!

-Vanessa

From: Davidson, Gary

Vanessa,

Thank you for the most recent clarification of your request. Because the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t issue permits or licenses for the purchase, acquisition or transfer of firearms, doesn’t regulate the use of firearms beyond those regulations contained in Florida statutes and likewise doesn’t maintain statistical data regarding the purchase, acquisition or transfer of firearms, we have no records responsive to most of your request. The two portions of your request for which we have records are as follows:

-Policies and procedures regarding the sale and purchase of firearms, including but not limited to the sale and purchase of firearms at guns shows:

Response: The Volusia County Council many years ago adopted an ordinance pertaining to a waiting period and records check for the purchase of firearms occurring at certain locations, such as gun shows. Although not a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office record, I’ve nonetheless attached the County ordinance in the interest of full disclosure.

-All data, statistics, or reports regarding incidents involving firearms:

Response: Pursuant to our prior communications, you have limited the scope of this portion of your request to encompass records pertaining to calendar year 2015. Please note that we do not have the capability of electronically searching all approximately 34,000 police/incident/arrest reports generated during calendar year in order to identify or segregate all those in which a firearm was discharged or present. The only statistical data we maintain regarding firearms use is contained within the annual Uniform Crime Reports submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. These reports track information related to the following seven offense categories: murder, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle thefts. I’ve attached our agency’s UCR report for calendar year 2015, which reflects a total of 109 incidents within those seven offense categories during which a firearm was used/present. Naturally, there could be additional offense categories in which a firearm was used/present, but these are the only ones that are tracked for statistical reporting purposes. If you would like to obtain copies of all 109 reports in which a firearm was used/present, we estimate that it would take approximately 15 minutes per-report to review and redact as may be necessary in order to comply with the various exemptions provided for in Florida public records law, Chapter 119. Accordingly, the cost estimate to process all 109 reports is approximately $300 (27.25 hrs. @ $11/hr.). If you would like to proceed with the request, we will begin processing the records upon advance payment of $300 made payable to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and then track the actual time spent processing the request to determine at the conclusion whether any additional money is owed or you are due a partial refund of your advance payment.

Please advise how you would like to proceed.
Regards,

Gary

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