NY newspaper publishes controversial map of local gun owners

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Many are criticizing The Journal News for publishing an online map of the names and addresses of gun permit owners.Screenshot/www.lohud.com
Many are criticizing The Journal News for publishing an online map of the names and addresses of gun permit owners.

A New York newspaper is receiving criticism for posting an online map of gun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties as the country debates firearm control following the Sandy Hook shooting.

On its website this Saturday, The Journal News, using data gathered from Freedom of Information requests and Google Maps, published the names and addresses of individuals with permits to own a pistol or revolver, along with an article called “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood.”

The Journal News is still awaiting information from gun owners in Putnam County and did not include those with rifles or shotguns since they can be purchased without a permit.

Despite the calls for stricter gun laws, the paper has experienced a lot of backlash from those angry about privacy violations.

Many of those who commented on the article said the interactive map’s publication was irresponsible reporting, and some even called for the publication of the names and addresses of Journal News employees.

“Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves?” said one commenter.

“You have just destroyed the privacy of these law abiding citizens and by releasing this list, you have equated them to that of sex offenders and murders,” wrote another.

In a statement responding to the outrage, The Journal News told ABC News that its readers “are understandably interested to know about guns in their neighborhoods,” because of the conversation about gun control following the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

What do you think of The Journal News’ publication of the names and addresses of local gun permit holders? Do you think it should have put the information online?