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It’s been over two weeks since the New York News Journal made the controversial decision to publish the names and addresses of gun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland counties, but the paper is still being criticized for the move. Gawker also made a splash this week by posting the names of gun permit owners in New York City. NRA president David Keene blasted both publications on Wednesday during a radio interview.
“The whole battle over the Second Amendment has little to do with crime or any of these things,” Keene told the Brooklyn GOP Radio podcast, reports Politicker. “It has to do with culture and the view that different people have about what kind of a country this ought to be.”
Keene blamed liberal journalists for what he called the media’s anti-gun stance. He noted that revealing the addresses of gun owners will yield “tremendously terrible consequences.”
Keene took aim at Gawker, which originally called New York City gun owners “a**holes” (the word is now crossed out). “In the minds of these people, folks that own firearms are evil,,” he explained. “You saw how the–when the Gawker website listed all these people what they described them as. And I’m not going to repeat it on the air, but the fact of the matter is, that they see anyone who is involved in the shooting sports, who owns a firearm for whatever reason as somebody that they hate.”
The News Journal’s decision was immediately criticized, but the paper claimed that it published the names to share the information following the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. The paper reportedly hired armed guards and was still planning on publishing the names of permit owners in Putnam County, but the county denied the paper’s request.
The Rockland County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee also condemned the paper’s actions, reports the News Journal. The board said that the paper exercised “...poor judgment in its decision to create an interactive website making the names and addresses of all lawful pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties readily available to members of the public.”