In the wake of receiving perceived threatening calls and emails after publishing the names and addresses of gun permit holders in two New York state counties, the Journal News has hired armed guards to patrol its offices.
As Digital Journal reported, the Journal News, a suburban New York City newspaper, created a firestorm late last month when it published an interactive map showing the names and addresses of persons who have a permit to possess guns in Westchester and Rockland counties.
The release angered many people, especially gun owners who felt their privacy was infringed in publicly releasing their names, addresses, and the fact they have a permit to have a gun. The newspaper defended its decision by saying it was necessary to provide that information to the public after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Many people who were outraged called or wrote the newspaper about the information they had published. Although police have so far determined that none of the calls or emails constituted a criminal threat, the negative reaction caused concern among the newspaper's staff.
Yesterday, the Rockland County Times broke an exclusive story that the Journal News has hired armed security guards to patrol their premises. The guards have been supplied by RGA Investigations, a New York City company. RGA was contracted to provide the armed guards after Journal News editor Caryn A. McBride became "alarmed by the volume of negative correspondence after the interactive map was published."
Not only have police determined none of the correspondence has risen to a criminal act but Richard Ayoob, of RGA, reports as of yesterday there has been no trouble at the newspaper.
The Journal News had also put in a request to obtain gun permit holders names and addresses for neighbouring Putnam County. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports county officials are refusing to comply with the request even though denying it will be breaking the law. New York state Senator Greg Ball wants to introduce legislation to prohibit this information from being given to anyone outside law enforcement.
Regarding the guns now at the offices of the Journal News, as the Rockland County Times so eloquently put it, "Guns are good for the goose but NOT for the gander."