The New York newspaper that made itself infamous for publishing an interactive, Internet-based map revealing the names and addresses of thousands of New York's law abiding gun owners has now disabled the feature that allows readers to see those names and addresses.
The Westchester-area Journal News caused outrage among New York's legal gun owners with its anti-gun stunt as the story surged across the country. Citing public safety issues, as late as last Tuesday a group of 50 current and former law enforcement officials gathered to demand that the newspaper remove the names from public view.
As soon as the map became an issue, legislators began efforts to change the state's laws to make it illegal to out gun owner's names. Even though such a law has yet to be put in place, the Journal News has decided to remove the names and addresses on its own citing the "spirit" of the laws under consideration, as well as a provision in the state's latest anti-gun law that passed earlier this week.
New York's newest gun law contains a provision for gun owners to request that personal information be excluded from public databases, and the Journal News claims it was reacting to this provision with its map shutdown.
"With the passage this week of the NYSAFE gun law, which allows permit holders to request their names and addresses be removed from the public record, we decided to remove the gun permit data from lohud.com at 5 pm today," the paper said in a statement released by the Manhattan PR firm it hired to handle media inquiries.
Later that day, Journal News publisher Janet Hasson posted a letter to the public on the paper's website.
In her letter, Hasson was unbowed in her desire to continue the attack against the state's legal gun owners despite the new law passed and the outrage expressed over her paper's actions.
The Journal News publisher also made no mention of the several cases of home invasion and burglary of homes of gun owners that appeared on her paper's map.