Jan 18 A New York newspaper pulled the names and
addresses of thousands of gun permit holders from its website on
Friday, ending a fierce battle over the data published after the
Connecticut elementary school massacre.
The Journal News, which serves suburbs just north of New
York City in Westchester and Rockland counties, cited in part
New York's new gun control law, which allows permit holders to
request confidentiality, for its decision to take the data down.
The newspaper, owned by the Gannett Co, published a
map with the names and addresses of permit holders in the areas
it serves last month in the aftermath of the massacre of 20
children and six adults at the school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The publication created an uproar among gun enthusiasts, and
the Journal News felt threatened enough by the outcry over the
map to hire a private security company to protect its employees.
State gun-owner groups had called for an advertising boycott
until the newspaper removed the information from its website.
Janet Hasson, president and publisher of the Journal News
Media Group, on Friday stood behind the decision to publish the
data, saying the dots on the interactive map conveyed a powerful
"But the database has been public for 27 days and we believe
those who wanted to view it have done so already," Hasson said
in a letter on the www.lohud.com website. "As well, with the
passage of time, the data will become outdated and inaccurate."
A non-interactive screenshot of the dots was maintained on
Hasson said the decision to remove the information was not a
concession to critics who questioned the value of posting it or
a response to the threats to staff, and that the newspaper would
"continue to report aggressively on gun ownership."
She said the newspaper does not endorse the state
legislature's decision to limit public access to the permit
data, "But we are not deaf to voices who have said that new
rules should be set for gun permit data."
The gun control provisions signed into law on Tuesday by
Governor Andrew Cuomo expanded a state ban on assault weapons,
imposed limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and added
measures to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.