Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant's decision to refuse a newspaper's request for the names and addresses of local gun permit holders has landed him a new parking space.
Earlier this week County Executive MaryEllen Odell and other officials gathered for the unveiling of a sign that marks Sant's "officially-sanctioned" spot behind the County Courthouse on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel.
It reads: "Our National Hero Dennis Sant County Clerk Parking Only."
"I am deeply grateful—as I know many of my fellow residents are—to Dennis for his courage in refusing to make public the names and addresses of Putnam’s gun permit holders," Odell said in a press release. She recapped the event, which was reportedly attended by "scores" of employees, via this post on her Facebook page. "That he did exactly what he did does not surprise me. That is who Dennis Sant is. This token of appreciation is heartfelt: a special parking designation for a special man."
Officials from Rockland and Westchester counties received similar requests from the paper, and subsequently provided the information. It was then featured in an interactive map—which was removed several weeks later—on the news agency's website.
Check out the following for more on the situation.
- Click here for a release that details officials' positions, and here for the official denial letter.
- Click here for a release from Putnam officials, who say a new law "exonerates" them.
- Click here for a story about the situation and the Freedom of Information Law—as well as the process that follows when a request is denied.
- Click here for a story about threats The Journal News received after posting maps revealing folks in Rockland and Westchester who carry gun permits.
- Click here for video of a press conference with officials explaining the denial.
- State Sen. Greg Ball is pushing a bill that would "prohibit the public disclosure of information in an application for a pistol license with exceptions for prosecutors and police conducting an active investigation." The bill, he said, "would protect lawful gun owners from being targeted by thieves for firearm burglaries and eliminate a database criminals could use to extort their identity-theft victims."
- Click here to read an opinion from Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy.