County officials refuse newspaper’s request for more info on gun owners
(CARMEL, N.Y. ) Officials in Putnam County say they will reject a newspaper’s request to release the names and addresses of residents with pistol permits — a move an open government advocate calls illegal.
County Clerk Dennis Sant said officials were meeting Wednesday to discuss legal options.
In December, the Journal News published online maps that allow viewers to see the names and addresses of pistol and revolver permit holders in neighboring Westchester and Rockland counties. The newspaper sought the records under the state Freedom of Information Law after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Critics called the publication an invasion of privacy; some said it could endanger permit holders.
“In Putnam County, I have over 11,000 pistol permit holders, and I refuse to put their lives and their families’ lives in danger,” Sant told The New York Times. “When these laws were conceived, there was no social media, there was no Google maps.”
The Journal News reportedly hired armed guards at one of its offices after receiving numerous “negative” phone calls and emails about the maps.