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The New York News Journal made headlines last week when it published the names and addresses of gun permit owners in two counties. The move was met with widespread backlash from gun owners, who claimed that it was a breach of privacy, but the News Journal defended its decision, saying that the information was public record.
The News Journal published the names and addresses of handgun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland Counties and had requested information from Putnam County. Despite the subsequent outcry, the paper still reportedly planned to publish Putnam County’s information.
According to The AP, Putnam has decided to deny the paper’s request and officials have scheduled a press conference Thursday to explain the decision. However, Robert Freeman of New York’s Committee on Open Government said that rejecting the request could violate state law, notes the News Journal.
Meanwhile, the Rockland Times is reporting that the News Journal has hired armed guards to stand at its offices in West Nyack. The Times reports that a Clarkstown police report shows that the guards had been there since Dec. 28 and would be there at least until Wednesday. The guards were hired out of safety concerns from Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride, who was worried about the “negative correspondence” the paper received.
Among many of the critics of the paper was Christopher Fountain, a blogger who posted the names and addresses of all of the News Journal’s employees to get back at them. “I felt they were using this to harass gun owners,” he explained on CNN.