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Journal News Removes Gun Map from Website

Publisher: We do not endorse the way the legislature has chosen to limit public access to gun permit data.

The publisher of The Journal News today said the newspaper has removed an interactive map listing details of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties from its web site, Lohud.com.

The map and a report about gun permits in the two counties was published in the wake of the deadly shooting in Newtown, CT, where 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School were killed.

"In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, The Journal News thought the community should know where gun permit holders in their community were, in part to give parents an opportunity make careful decisions about their children’s safety," said publisher Janet Hasson in a letter to readers. "But public reaction to the posting of names and street addresses was swift and divided. Many in the community expressed their gratitude for The Journal News’ decision to make the information available, but permit holders were outraged at what they considered to be an invasion of privacy. Gun owners from across the country vocally conveyed their anger and accused The Journal News of having exposed permit holders and non-permit holders alike to the risk of burglaries and other crimes. Hundreds of threats were made to Journal News staffers."

Hasson said the decision to remove the gun permit data from Lohud.com was not a concession to the newspaper's critics. She said the data has been public for 27 days and that those who would want to view the information have had time to do so. She also said that as time passes, the data will become outdated and inaccurate.

In reaction to the publishing of the data, the state Legislature included changes to state law on the release of gun permit information as part of a gun violence packaged initiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State message last week.

The changes would allow gun permit holders to opt out of having their information become public information. And, it includes a 120 moratorium on the release of permit information.

In response to the paper's decision to remove the data, state Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, who was vocal critic of the map, issued a statement.

"Thank God the Journal News has finally realized the error in their judgment and done the right thing," Ball said. "Whether they did this responding to the public's outcry or because they were simply fearful of getting sued due to the rash of burglaries and threats against law enforcement and victims of domestic violence, we will never know. Regardless, I am proud to have passed legislation keeping the Journal News from doing this ever again and proud to have been shoulder to shoulder with thousands of residents who were dealt a crappy hand by the eggheads at the Journal News. I look forward to them creating an interactive map of level three sexual predators, rapists and felons with illegal gun purchases, but I won't hold my breath."

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino urged the newspaper to take down the permit information, and today Rockland County Clerk Paul Piperato asked the newspaper to remove the map in light of the provisions included in the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

"From the moment the Journal News published the gun owners map, it put law abiding citizens, including judges, police officers and victims of domestic violence, at risk," Astorino said tonight. "I had asked the publisher to take down the map as a matter of public safety and common sense. Though four weeks too late, I am glad to see the Journal News has finally done the right thing and taken the map down."

The newspaper originally also sought gun permit information from Putnam County, but officials there refused to release the information — although it was subject to the state's Freedom of Information Law.

"As a news organization, we are constantly defending the public’s right to know," Hasson said in the letter. "Consequently we do not endorse the way the legislature has chosen to limit public access to gun permit data. The statute is very broad and allows anyone who meets certain criteria within qualifying categories to keep their permit information private. When the moratorium concludes, far fewer permit holders will be identifiable, and those who want to know which houses on their block may have guns will not be able to get that information. But we are not deaf to voices who have said that new rules should be set for gun permit data."

Jo January 19, 2013 at 03:54 AM
I hope a class action suit is in the works.
Norman January 19, 2013 at 04:26 AM
The problem with Hasson is that she sees gun owners as the problem in this country, and we gun owners must pay the price one way or the other. I think she was hoping there would be protests outside of people's houses, or through mailings to their houses, and in that singular goal she and the others didn't think of all of the ramifications. Either way, what a bunch of bastards. I can't believe it took this long to remove the map. At this point it's too late. It's been basically a month.
Tim January 19, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Did everyone read this as her talking tough also? I'd love to have her in a room and hear how tough she sounds as we the people light her views up, especially given the fact my house is on her stupid map and it's not even my name its the person 2 owners before me. I have a big 6'1", 15 year old at my house sometimes when he isn't playing sports but what if one of the houses robbed contained a younger latch key kid, and that kid gets injured or killed during a break-in, would she (Hasson) still talk tough? She is an idiot and her paper need to be on a roll in the bathroom.
JP January 19, 2013 at 05:23 AM
These guys at the Journal News must really be retarded. Corrections Officers are being threatened by inmates telling them their home addresses and how they know where they live. This is called Liberalism gone insane. I don't buy the rag anymore. No one should!
Brewster One January 19, 2013 at 05:35 AM
I own a business in Putnam County, and was suddenly, and for the first time ever, solicited by the Journal News to place an ad in their rag. I told them to go ask the persons whose privacy they had violated to advertise with them. I am sure I was one of many who refused to advertise, and they saw their readership and ad placements drop off the end of the table. That, and perhaps the possibility of legal action against them, are the ONLY reasons they have removed the map. What slimy cowards.
The Entertainer January 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM
The Urinal news does it again! Boycott that rag once and for all!
Mike January 19, 2013 at 01:35 PM
"As a news organization, we are constantly defending the public’s right to know," Hasson said in the letter. Another example of MSM elitism at work. Apparently Hasson and her colleagues know what we the public want to know. They could have gotten the story out without publishing the actual names of gun owners. Where has the JN been in our right to know what really happened in Benghazi? Where is the story on how GE and other major corporate supporters of Obama paid no taxes and created no jobs? Where is the story on what happened to all the TARP and other bailout money? Where is the story on Solyandra and other failed business that Obama gave tax dollars to? Even locally, where is the story on the graft, the political job creation in the RC Legislature? Where is the story on the questionable financial activities in the East Ramapo Schools? Yea, right Ms Hasson, we have the right to know, but apparently only on stories that suit your papers liberal agenda. You are a farce and so is your paper. In any other organization, you would have been fired along with your Management Team.
Alan D. January 19, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Gun Nuts: 1, Parents/children: 0 The United States is no longer a safe place to raise children. Society has died.
Teleman January 19, 2013 at 01:55 PM
The JN gun map was all about advancing the liberal anti-gun agenda- there was NO consideration for anyone's safety and no thought or care given to the obvious ramifications to pubishing the maps. It was an act with out a rational purpose- just like cuomos new gun law. A knee jerk rush job that I hope will either be fully or partially overturned.
obamasux January 19, 2013 at 02:01 PM
now we need to get this rag to go under. Who cares if they fire her its to late cancel subscriptions and boycott ads
Aintthatascam January 19, 2013 at 02:25 PM
This was in reaction to two things 1) the Ct.shooting and 2) The re-election of one of the most anti-constitutional, anti-white, far left, pro-socialist, anti-colonist Presidents ever. Watch the next 3 years, it's gonna get crazy out there... Look at the suicide rates with this guy in office, the weather, you name it..... K-A-R-M-A ....
sayitsnotsojack January 19, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Has everyone seen the u tube video of the group who went to the homes of the journalists at the rag news and asked them to put a sign in their yard declaring their house was gun free? It is truly informative to hear them weasel out of not posting the sign or having their armed guards stop the people from talking.
Harry One January 19, 2013 at 02:51 PM
They published your name not there body guards or office guards
Harry One January 19, 2013 at 02:54 PM
The federal government broke up exonmoble att and other large companies bur allowed JN to buy and merge all newspapers into 1 ??????
Tim January 19, 2013 at 04:07 PM
wow my comment was pulled! just like lohud, patch seems to be weak like them. What exactly was wrong with my comment Patch?
PWT January 19, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Forget about not buying the paper - Don't buy anything from any business that advertises in the Journal News - and let the advertisers know their support of cultural elitism has costs. For a laugh watch the youtube video where JN personnel are asked to post a sign a stating they have no guns in their houses... http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cj3v78UPK3A
Aintthatascam January 19, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Has anyone ever wondered how much money the U.S. loses while paying people benefits while they live overseas. I know that as long as they come back to the U.S. for a certain amount of time, they qualify, or they can just show up at a U.S embassy, but really. Cash paid to people form U.S tax payers should stay in circulation within the U.S. I say, if you travel outside the U.S., for more than 20 day within 3 years, your benefits end. There are so many people building their "dream" homes in their home lands while collecting various benefits while here in the U.S. including low income housing. Some projects have whole families, same last names, all working off the books, all able bodied, paying $150 per month rent, while being able to travel back and forth to their "home lands' and build houses, I just don't get it??
Dan Seidel January 19, 2013 at 05:56 PM
OK jurors - let's check the evidence to see if the Ubersthurmfurher Herr Cuomoo's midnight putsch was legal or "necessary": http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2013/01/sandy-hook-mystery-man-identified-why-did-this-off-duty-swat-officer-armed-with-a-gun-run-off-into-the-woods-instead-of-helping-the-students-2447820.html
T Levine January 19, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Good luck suing the Journal Rag, they are accountable to no one. Even their stories on the permit holder map portray them as starting a discussion for the public good. The cowardly editor issues statements but is always unavailable for other media groups that want to report on the story. They will never admit it was a mistake.
Mike January 19, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Gee. All those guns. No wonder I feel safe when I am there.
SPK January 19, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Wife and I now returning from Albany today...joined 1,000s in a pro-2nd Amendment Rally calling for repeal of this illegal action by the governor and legislators. Will a million law abiding NY citizens now be prosecuted under this new law? Truly scary law making made in the middle of nite...like Nazi Germany.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day January 19, 2013 at 11:28 PM
No matter what spin they put on this, they were wrong. No matter what they say now, they had to capitulate. The community would have had more respect for the Journal News management if they had simply said they had an honest belief; that the result was not what was intended; and pulled the map. Instead the JN doubled down on a horrible idea. Their actions were reckless and not news reporting but rather sensationalistic creating. As we read this, the Clarkstown Police are trying to determine if the Journal News map contributed to putting two more illegal guns on the street. In their attempt to boost circulation, the opposite occurred. They betrayed the very notion that John Peter Zenger stood for, and Alexander Hamilton defended - the foundation of freedom of the press. And Ms. Hasson, your parting shot that "Make no mistake, The Journal News will continue to report aggressively on gun ownership" STILL misses the point. 99% plus of the gun violence that plagues our society is not sourced within the "gun ownership" list. Why not instead investigate and report on the residences of those who have, in fact, done violence upon our community. That list would have much more value than listing law abiding citizens who have no criminal record.
Ann Fanizzi January 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Stats on Gun Appreciation Day - UPDATED: 5 People Shot At 3 Different Gun Shows On Gun Appreciation Day By Adam Peck on Jan 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm If the gun advocates behind this year’s inaugural Gun Appreciation Day had hoped to use the day’s festivities to build support for their anti-regulation platform, they are going to have to wait another year. Emergency personnel had to be called to the scene of the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina after a gun accidentally discharged and shot two people at the show’s safety check-in booth just after 1 pm. Both victims were transported to an area hospital, and the Raleigh Fire Department announced that the show would be closed for the rest of the day.
Da Face! January 20, 2013 at 02:06 PM
The damage has already been done.....So irresponsible......Not even an apology......I'm done with my subscription.
John B January 20, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Still not going to renew my JN subscription.
Marcos Mess January 20, 2013 at 05:46 PM
what???????????? n "the JN realized their error in judgement?" ...the state Legislature included changes to state law on the release of gun permit information as part of a gun violence packaged initiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State message last week... that is like me saying I decided I will only put 7 bullets in my mag instead of 10 now.... NO I DIDNT!! the law made me! just as the law made the rag p.o.s. "news"paper
Marcos Mess January 20, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Besides what did you expect them to say? uh, we were afraid.. uh, we screwed up all of our lives. uh, we screwed even our friends and families with our liberal slanted views that we wanted to push
John B January 20, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Still not renewing my JN subscription.
sheri January 22, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Cancelled mine as well, JN is really backtracking, but it's too late. They put too many people in danger, including people they didnt think of, women and children. Many women who were in abusive relationships now were exposed, and the stupid JN put them in danger too. They didnt think and they STILL arent apologizing. They put EVERYONE in danger.
Guarags30 January 24, 2013 at 01:07 PM
I agree but I believe the real problem in this country is the media and the way they try to shape peoples thinking. News is definitely important and people should know what is going on BUT what people get is usually one sided and biased. I just want to know the facts not one side of a story. Maybe whenever a journalist writes an article they should put their name, address and phone number under the article.

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