Legal News

The Journal News Publishes Map of Rockland and Westchester County Gun Permit Holders
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The Journal News has published an interactive map that has the names and addresses of all the handgun permit holders in the counties of Westchester and Rockland in New York. Readers can zoom in on red dots that show where licensed pistol or revolver owners live. The blue dots on the map show those who “have purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years,” according to CNN.

The paper has received a ton of backlash ever since the map was published. The publisher of the paper, Janet Hasson, who is the president of the Journal News Media Group, issued a statement. The statement said the following:


“One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings,” she said.

In a statement, the newspaper said, “We were surprised when we weren’t able to obtain information on what kinds and how many weapons people in our market own.”

In the statement, the paper was told county clerks’ offices that “the public does not have the right to see specific permits an individual has been issued, the types of handguns a person possesses or the number of guns he or she owns. Had we been able to obtain those records, we would have published them.”

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The addresses and names of the Rockland and Westchester county permit holders were obtained by the paper through the Freedom of Information Act. The newspaper did make sure to note that the map does not say if the permit holders actually own guns.

Some of the comments left on CNN’s article include the following:

“If you’re a gun owner it’s a matter of public record. If you’re embarrassed by your gun, get rid of it. I have a car and a house — they’re no secret. People contact me all the time trying to sell me stuff. I don’t expect a right to privacy for these things.”

“Every gun manufactured, transferred, and sold should be on the internet, all on one website, including date of purchase, current owner, stored location, and gun license number.”

A Poynter Institute (school for journalists) senior faculty member, Al Tompkins, said the following in a statement:

“Publishing gun owners’ names makes them targets for theft or public ridicule. It is journalistic arrogance to abuse public record privilege, just as it is to air 911 calls for no reason or to publish the home addresses of police or judges without cause. Unwarranted publishing of the names of permitted owners just encourages gun owners to skip the permitting.”


  1. L Jehlen

    December 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Journal News,

    You folks didn’t publish the names of the Mexican Cartel members with AK-47’s. Oh…you say its hard to get their names, why not ask Eric Holder, I’m sure he has them?

    You irresponsible Fucks. That’s right, publish the names of law abiding citizens. They, and new gun owners probably won’t register their next hand gun because of assholes like you.

    And you wonder why newspapers are on their way out. It will be interesting to see how many of your subscribers cancel their subscription. I wish you an early demise. As a retiree of the LA Times, you people overstepped the bounds of good journalism. -But then, good journalism was never your goal in the first place, was it? L Jehlen

    Janet Hasson, you obviously are for the confiscation of all guns. Am I right? Think about this, it’s not about the hunter’s or collector’s rights, it’s all about keeping the government in-line with “We the People”. Maybe you should get an outside opinion from the 6 million Jews exterminated after the Nazi Government confiscated all their guns in the 1930’s. Oh that’s right, you can’t ask them because they are all dead. Apparently, you have a really shallow understanding of the 2nd Amendment. I can hear you saying now, “that was in them olden days, we’re beyond that now”. Yea yea, what about Syria, Iran, Iraq, etc, etc, etc. You need to quit living in fantasy land……But then that’s a real comfortable place for you, isn’t it? -LJ

  2. Anonymous

    December 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    If I am damaged because of your journalistic arrogance and abuse of public record privilege I will sue you for single every nickel I can get out of you.

  3. richard

    December 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Gun owners who are afraid to have their identities published should detach themselves from their pacifiers and dispose of their kill sticks otherwise it is public record just like owning your home so stop your crying. If you are a proud gun owner than what are you afraid of. You are the big bad rugged individual who needs a gun to protect himself.

  4. Kent Mahler

    December 27, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Well I hope you are now concern that your actions may now lead criminals to citizens in your area whom once had the protection of the average criminal not knowing if they had guns in their homes. If now a citizen, adult or child is injured or killed due to your actions, I hope you will man up and take full liability for you actions. Meaning you will bear full financial burder for the survoirs lives and legal cost to the state. What can I say except what asses.

  5. Brenda

    December 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    This is the most reckless act of stupidity I’ve ever seen. Criminals are usually opportunistic cowards who prey on those less capable of defending themselves and JDJournal has now given them a means of identifying the homes less likely to have a firearm.

    When the home invasion rate goes up in these two counties, we’ll know who to thank.

  6. Mike

    December 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    They have also outed a lot of very wealthy people that have large estates in NY that probably have a firearm or two that apparently don’t have permits on file. (Unless they get special treatement with respect to confidentiality.) Some of these include:

    Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins House on Old Post Road
    Ralph Lauren’s Home on Upper Hook Road
    George Soros’s Residence on Cantitoe Street
    Richard Gere’s Residence on Lyndel Road
    The Clinton Mansion off D Road
    The Nelson Peltze Estate off Byram Lake Road

    Just an observation.

  7. James

    December 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Richard, if you are so brave, why not post your name and address on this site.

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