The Journal News has pulled from its website its interactive map of gun permit holders in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties, but publisher Janet Hasson wants readers to know that the decision was not a reaction to the controversy but a move to comply with New York’s sweeping new gun regulations.
Whoa, gun nuts? That’s not what Hasson says. Hasson posted an open letter on the lohud.com site today explaining the Journal News’ actions, and if there’s a gun nut behind the pulling of the map, it’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
So intense was the opposition to our publication of the names and addresses that legislation passed earlier this week in Albany included a provision allowing permit holders to request confidentiality and imposing a 120-day moratorium on the release of permit holder data.
Today The Journal News has removed the permit data from lohud.com. Our decision to do so is not a concession to critics that no value was served by the posting of the map in the first place. On the contrary, we’ve heard from too many grateful community members to consider our decision to post information contained in the public record to have been a mistake. Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers. We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower.
It appears that some of the most grateful community members were burglars who were looking to get their hands on firearms. Two incidents of burglary at homes identified on the Journal News map have been reported.
So, the Journal News now has managed to anger both gun rights supporters and opponents, as well as empower criminals. What next?