There has been some interesting reaction to the Journal News publishing a map with the names and addresses of people in Westchester County with gun permits. This information is public record.
In an article by Christopher Fountain in his Greenwich-based blog, turnabout is apparently fair play, and he publishes the name and address of Journal News Publisher, Janet Hasson, along with a photo of her home in Mamaroneck.
He posted it as a comment to the Journal News article, too, but the JN (which published addresses of thousands of gun owners) deleted it.
Fountain, a gun owner, was also seen on CNN talking about the whole thing.
Meanwhile, says instapundit, several readers suggest that “it’s mean to the non-gun-owning populace to post the gun owner list, since burglars and home invaders can now just check their addresses against the list to ensure that they’re safe to rob. . . “.
What do you think?
additional reporting by Joyce Newman:
The map uses Google Maps technology to show each handgun (pistols and revolvers) registered with the Westchester County Clerk’s Office. Each large red dot on the map represents a permit. Westchester residents with handguns are required by law to have a license and they are supposed to renew the permit every five years. The cost of the license application form is $1.50 and the fee for an approved license is $10 in most cases.
The map does not reveal data on rifles or shotguns since it is legal to purchase them without a permit in Westchester. In addition, the specific addresses and names on the map indicate only that a permit was issued, and not that a particular person actually owns a weapon or has one on the premises.
Westchester County judges actually decide whether a permit will be issued after the county’s Department of Public Safety Pistol License Unit has investigated the application. The clerk’s office provides support to the courts and provides application forms as well as keeping records.
With all the reporting lately about the huge number of guns in the U.S., it is still shocking to see so many red dots clustered on a map of one’s own immediate neighborhood. According to The Journal News, one out of every 23 adults in the lower Hudson area– Westchester, Rockland and Putnam– is licensed to own a handgun.
The Journal News also has published a list of the types of handgun permits in Westchester as follows:
Unrestricted (full carry) 4,900 ; Employment 2,329; Premises only 38; Target 11,240 ; Hunting 6,913