The New York Newspaper that caused controversy last year when they published the names and home addresses of local legal gun permit holders is at it again. The Journal News has requested more personal information about gun permit holders in the suburban counties just north of New York City.

The Journal News used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request the names and addresses of permit holders. They also requested data from the almost 10,000 people who had opted out of reporting their permit status – “including reasons for the requests, total number of requests received, and the total number of requests approved.”

After the Journal News published a map showing the addresses of every registered handgun owner in Rockland and Westchester Counties, the New York State legislature passed the NY SAFE law, which allowed legal permit holders to opt out of public records.

The local government says that the FOIA request was approved and the newspaper was given the information it asked for, except for the breakdown of information on citizens who opted out of public records. The reason the newspaper did not get the information breakdown they requested wasn’t because of the NY SAFE law, but simply because the local government did not keep information electronically.

The FOIA is an important tool that we, the public, can use to make sure that our government is being honest with us. The way that this newspaper has used the information (twice now) to persecute law abiding citizens is deplorable. For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone in their community would continue to patronize a newspaper that has already once put their neighbors in danger, and now threatens to do it again.

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