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Paper Posting Gun Permits Hires Armed Security

From the Nyack New York area, Journal News:

The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood

Dwight R. Worley | Dec 24, 2012

… In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and amid renewed nationwide calls for stronger gun control, some Lower Hudson Valley residents would like lawmakers to expand the amount of information the public can find out about gun owners. About 44,000 people in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam — one out of every 23 adults — are licensed to own a handgun.

Anyone can find out the names and addresses of handgun owners in any county with a simple Freedom of Information Law request, and the state’s top public records expert told The Journal News last week that he thinks the law does not bar the release of other details. But officials in county clerk’s offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam maintain the public does not have a right to see such things as the specific permits an individual has been issued, the types of handguns a person possesses or the number of guns he or she owns — whether one or a dozen…

So the editors of The Journal News decided to take the matter into their own hands.

And here is what they wrote to accompany their interactive maps:

Map: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?

Dec. 22, 2012

These maps indicate the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Each dot represents an individual permit holder licensed to own a handgun — a pistol or revolver. The data does not include owners of long guns — rifles or shotguns — which can be purchased without a permit. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location owns a weapon, just that they are licensed to do so.

Data for all permit categories, unrestricted carry, premises, business, employment, target and hunting, is included, but permit information is not available on an individual basis.

To create the map, The Journal News submitted Freedom of Information requests for the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. By state law, the information is public record.

Putnam County officials are could not immediately provide any data. The map will be updated when that data is released.

Meanwhile, we have learned via the Rockland County (NY) Times:

The Journal News is Armed and Dangerous

DYLAN SKRILOFF | January 1st, 2013

… A Clarkstown police report issued on December 28, 2012, confirmed that The Journal News has hired armed security guards from New City-based RGA Investigations and that they are manning the newspaper’s Rockland County headquarters at 1 Crosfield Ave., West Nyack, through at least tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

According to police reports on public record, Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride was alarmed by the volume of “negative correspondence,” namely an avalanche of phone calls and emails to the Journal News office, following the newspaper’s publishing of a map of all pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester.

Due to apparent safety concerns, the newspaper then decided to hire RGA Investigations to provide armed personnel to man the location.

Private investigator Richard Ayoob is the administrator of RGA. He told the Clarkstown Police on Friday, December 28 that there had been no problems on site at the Journal News headquarters despite the massive influx of phone calls and emails.

McBride had filed at least two reports with the Clarkstown Police Department due to perceived threats. However, the police did not find the communications in question actually threatening. Incident-Report 2012-00033099 describes McBride telling police she was worried because an email writer wondered “what McBride would get in her mail now.”

Police said the email “did not constitute an offense” and did not contain an actual threat….

The Journal News … editors have said they believe knowing where guns are is in the public’s interest. The newspaper has also taken a strident editorial position in favor of strict gun control.

Rather than take the map down following the public uproar, the executive board at the Journal News has decided to “stick to their guns” and double-down on their original decision, as they have said a map listing all pistol permit holders in Putnam County will soon to be posted.

[Update---Putnam County officials have since announced their intention to not comply with the Journal News' request for the names and addresses of pistol permit holders] …

Will the Journal News (or their parent company, Gannett) be sued if someone is hurt by a robber targeting their house for guns using this information?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Paper Posting Gun Permits Hires Armed Security”

  1. GetBackJack

    Will the Journal News publish the names and addresses of their armed guards?

  2. Astravogel

    Some public sprited individual has posted the names and
    addresses of the Journal News’ employees. Wonder if it’s
    still funny now?

  3. Anonymoose

    Included on some of these gun owners were women who were victims of crime or abusive relationships who didn’t want their names and addresses posted–I’m surprised the party doesn’t get sued.

    What’s next, running background checks on all the gun owners, trying to see who belongs to un-approved organizations, or have politically incorrect beliefs?

    Meanwhile the criminals can continue with their privacy……

  4. evansj42

    Dopey idiots, all this does is tell criminals which houses not to bother and which houses are defenseless.


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