N.Y. county refuses to turn over gun data

Jan. 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM

CARMEL, N.Y., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Officials in Putnam County, a rural area in New York State, say they will not give information on holders of gun permits to a newspaper.

The Journal News, a newspaper based in White Plains, N.Y., published an interactive map showing the location of residents of Rockland and Westchester counties with gun permits and listed their names and addresses. The newspaper requested the same information from Putnam County, which borders Westchester on the north, but was turned down, USA Today reported.

The newspaper's action Dec. 23 followed the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in nearby Newtown, Conn.

State Sen. Greg Ball, a Republican who represents Putnam County, praised county officials for refusing to turn over the data and said the newspaper was involved in an invasion of privacy.

"I'm proud to stand with Putnam County and proud that Putnam won't be releasing its pistol permit records," he said in a statement Tuesday. "The asinine editors at the Journal News have gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law abiding firearm owners throughout the region and I thank God that Putnam County has a clerk with the guts to stand up and draw the line here."

But Robert Freeman, executive director of the state's Open Government Committee, said Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant was violating state law by refusing the information: "The name and address of any gun licensee are public."

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