The radically anti-gun Westchester Co. NY Journal News made headlines late last year when they published an interactive map that showed the addresses of pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester Counties.
Critics said the map was an invasion of privacy, and said that it made permit holders a target for criminals… and they were right. At least two break-ins were linked to the map.
The response against the paper included rival papers posting the home addresses of Journal News employees, and angry threats by citizens against editors and reporters which led to the newspaper hiring security guards… who carried guns.
The Journal News on Thursday sued Putnam County and its county clerk’s office in state Supreme Court to compel them to release information about the county’s pistol-permit holders.
The newspaper’s lawsuit, filed shortly after 4 p.m., comes after Putnam denied two New York state Freedom of Information Law requests and a subsequent appeal. The paper first sought the information after the Newtown, Conn., shooting massacre, and again after New York state passed a gun-control law that allowed permit holders to apply to keep their names and addresses private.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said Thursday that the county had not been served with the newspaper’s filing and therefore could not comment on it. However, Odell continued to defend the county’s position.
“I am completely confident that the county will prevail,” Odell said. “Our point is that the risk to public safety and the invasion of privacy should exceed anyone’s interest to profit.”
A previous Journal News editor, Caryn McBride, was fired in August, presumably for her role in the map fiasco. Apparently even after that experience, Journal News Editor-in-Chief CynDee Royle (yes, that her real name) is still just as interested in obtaining pistol permit data as she was before.