As we recently reported, last month the Westchester County Journal News published online the names and addresses of New York gun permit holders in two counties using an interactive map. "Red dots" show where licensed pistol or revolver owners live, and "blue dots" mark the residence of those who have purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years.
As the Journal News defiantly moved forward with plans to publish gun owners' information for a third county--and continued to be rebuked for doing so--it was reported this week that two of the newspaper's offices are being guarded by armed security personnel. If you think that clearly demonstrates a double standard, you're right.
Consider the irony: Under the guise of public service, the Journal News chooses to release specific, detailed information that places law-abiding citizens in danger by providing valuable information to criminals. This is a thinly veiled attempt to dissuade gun owners from seeking gun permits.
Meanwhile, after the Journal News received "a large amount of negative correspondence" related to the publication of the map, the paper wasted no time in hiring armed guards to protect its own interests.
"The safety of my staff is my top priority," said Janet Hasson, the president and publisher of The Journal News Media Group. And what about the safety of law-abiding citizens who happen to own firearms?
NRA has actively supported legislation throughout the country to protect this type of information as confidential. Thirty states have already enacted protections for gun owners by classifying personal information contained in firearm permits as confidential. In New York, S.2360 and A.1811 (Gunther) were introduced in 2011 to keep this information privileged. However, both state legislative chambers failed to move this important legislation during the most recent legislative session. NRA supported these bills and will continue to advocate for this legislation in order to prevent attacks on the privacy of legal gun owners. The public release of such personal information serves no public interest and only exposes law-abiding citizens to potential criminal acts.
Please call the Westchester Journal News at 914-694-9300, or 800-942-1010, and let them know how you feel about their reckless and irresponsible release of another "gun thief shopping list."