"Even the partial disclosure of an address can reveal the identity of a victim, if, for example, he or she resides in a single family house or is the only member of a particular minority group who resides in a small apartment building," the panel wrote.
Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, which advises state and municipal governments on freedom of information issues, said he believes the holding on gun permits is moot in light of the new law.
Elizabeth Freedman, senior counsel in the city's Law Department's appeals division, disagreed. She said the ruling would apply to people who did not opt out of having their gun registrations made public.
"This decision is critical for a number of reasons," she said in a statement. "For example, a handgun licensee might be concerned that someone could steal a gun from his or her house if the owner's name and address were widely disseminated. Or a victim of domestic violence who had a handgun license might be concerned that his or her abuser would be able to locate him or her and cause further injury. In the case of hate crime victims, the court recognized the sensitivity of these crimes and these victims' privacy concerns."
Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo welcomed the decision in a statement.
"The ruling protects important privacy interests and allows an appropriate balance between privacy and safety concerns versus the public's right to know," he said.
Freeman did not agree that the decision would apply to gun owners who do not opt out under the new law.
"People have made their choices," he said. "In my view, if people don't opt out, that implies consent" to make the information public.
Freeman also said he disagreed with the court's holding that the hate crime victim information should not be released.
"If an event occurs at 200 Main St., why is it that we should not know about it?" he said.