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NY newspaper removes handgun permit holder data

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - Updated: 5:49 PM

WHITE PLAINS -- A suburban New York newspaper that outraged gun owners by posting the names and addresses of residents with handgun permits removed the information from its website Friday.

The Journal News took down the data just three days after the state enacted a gun control law that included privacy provisions for permit holders.

The provisions were a reaction to interactive maps the newspaper published on LoHud.com that pinpointed thousands of permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

Gun rights activists had immediately complained that permit owners' privacy was being violated. They said the map could guide burglars to their homes while police groups claimed the map could lead ex-convicts to the officers who had put them away.

The addresses of some Journal News staffers were posted online, and threats were called in to the newspaper's offices. The newspaper hired armed guards in response.

Janet Hasson, president and publisher of The Journal News Media Group, said in an emailed statement, "While the new law does not require us to remove the data, we believe that doing so complies with its spirit."

She said the maps had been viewed nearly 1.2 million times since they were published Dec. 23. The newspaper sought the records under the state Freedom of Information Law after the Dec. 14 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman who had killed his mother at home killed 20 first-graders and six educators and then committed suicide.

     

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