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Paper Wins Gun-Permit Suit Against Putnam County

"Warning, our worst nightmare has come true," said County Clerk Dennis Sant.

Putnam County Executive and County Clerk both endorse Murphy for Westchester County Clerk
Putnam County Executive and County Clerk both endorse Murphy for Westchester County Clerk
A New York state judge has ruled that Putnam County must give public information on names and addresses of pistol-permit holders to The Journal News, but the county is seeking a stay pending appeal, the County Clerk said.

"Putnam County is being denied the right to protect our citizens against an unwarranted invasion of their personal privacy," County Clerk Dennis Sant and Deputy County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti said in a press release. "We are fighting the good fight on this and will do everything in our power to oppose this crusade by The Journal News to get their hands on your personal information."

In a news article when it filed the suit, lohud.com said the paper did not plan to release the names of individuals holding permits as it had done when it published information about gun-permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

The state's penal law has deemed the information public for years.   

The paper's original act at the end of 2012 had caused a storm of controversy that overtook horror about the Newtown, CT school shooting, which had happened a few weeks previously.

The issue so infuriated Sant that he made a special trip to Westchester County to endorse County Clerk Tim Idoni's opponent Mary Beth Murphy in the 2013 election—and staged a press conference with a poster of The Journal News' gun map. 

Sant's stand made him a national hero in some eyes—and got him a new parking space. He announced in January that he would not seek re-election.

He and Bartolotti urged everyone to mount a massive campaign to get the state's penal law changed. 

They also urge all Putnam gun-permit holders to sign and submit an Opt Out form, created after New York passed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in response to the controversy. It provides specific exemptions allowing some gun-permit holders' identities to be withheld from the media. 

Find the opt-out form here. 

Should Putnam County appeal the ruling? Should county officials stick with promoting the Opt-Out Form? Should New York State revise its penal code? Tell us in the comments. 
Bob Dumont March 08, 2014 at 10:21 PM
Sounds like if you don't want your name published, you opt out. If you opt out, NOBODY knows who has a gun or not. Personally, I really want to know if my neighbors have a cache of guns, just like I want to know if they are a child molester. I'm not even sure why anyone needs to have a stock pile of guns. If you want to hunt, have a rifle and hunt. If you want to hunt people, have something that can shoot a dozens of rounds in 30 seconds. Sounds like something I would want to know and the police should make neighbors aware of.
MARILYN March 08, 2014 at 10:45 PM
CynDee Royle, The Journal News' editor and vice president/news, sued both Putnam & Rockland County for the lists. Many elderly or long time permit holders may not realize they need to opt-out, so this women is endangering them. Let's let her know what we think of her irresponsible journalism and anti-American attitude. She should report the news not try and fabricate it at the expense of innocent law-abiding citizens who take personal responsibility for their family's safety. Here's her email address: croyle@lohud.comLocal and phone # Work: 914-694-5001. And Boycott the Journal News! Also, there is going to be a Rally at West Capital Park in Albany April 1st. against the un-SAFE Act, Common Core, etc.. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! Silence = Consent "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." Thomas Jefferson
eddobloggo March 09, 2014 at 06:00 AM
@Bob Dumont Should anti-gun people ever repeal the Second Amendment (God forbid) the rest of us will be forced to live without our Constitutionally-provided liberties. Meanwhile, the right to bear arms and retain personal privacy continue to be the law of the land and are not to be infringed upon.
Anthony March 09, 2014 at 10:27 AM
Boycott this rag of a newspaper. More left wing nonsense.
timetofightback March 09, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Dont think they wont boycott and confiscate our guns Bob. They did it in Australia and they will do it here if we let them!

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