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.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Jeremiah Glosenger

    Reminds me of when a very large, muscular, African-American patriot in Arizona was standing on the street with his loaded AR15 in a symbolic message to Obama of his right to keep and bear arms. The media said law enforcement was present to protect him from angry, liberal, anti-gun protestors. Looking at the video, the size of the man, and his obvious familiarity with firearms usage, I couldn’t stop laughing. Protect him….it still gives me giggles.