A suburban New York City newspaper said they will publish more names and addresses of residents holding gun permits even as critics fear the newspaper’s decision will put non-gun owners at risk from criminals.
The Journal News in White Plains, NY, said they will unveil the names of permit holders in Putnam County. They’ve already released the names of permit holders in suburban Westchester and Rockland counties.
The newspaper’s editor and vice president of news, CynDee Royle, earlier in the week defended the decision to list the permit holders – noting they got the information legally through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“We knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings,” she told Reuters.
Controversial may be an understatement.
Republican State Sen. Greg Ball told Fox News the newspaper is “anti-Second Amendment” and called their outing of gun owners “b.s.”
“The asinine editors at the Journal News, have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law abiding firearm owners throughout the region,” he said.
Ball, from Patterson, NY, said he planned to introduce legislation that would keep permit information private except to prosecutors and police.
“This is a privacy issue,” he told Fox News. “There’s no way this paper should have made this accessible for criminals and nut jobs.”
Ball said the Gannett-owned newspaper is treating gun owners worse than sexual predators.
“They don’t go out of their way to show us where the sexual predators live,” he told Fox News. “They are focusing on people who are following the law, paying their taxes – and putting them in the same category as a level-three sexual predator.”
Many fear the newspaper put not only gun-owners at risk – but also those residents who don’t own weapons.
“Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves?” Rob Seubert of Silver Spring, Maryland, posted on the newspaper’s web site. “What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are.”
Ball said the newspaper’s “elitist egg heads” created a “virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs.”
“There’s a lot of talk about gun control,” Ball said. “We need to have a national conversation about nut control.”
There’s no way this paper should have made this accessible for criminals and nut jobs.