Putnam County officials: Release of gun permit owners potentially dangerous

The Journal News published thousands of pistol permit owners' names and addresses in December. (Jan. 3, 2012)

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Putnam County officials defended their decision Thursday to prevent a newspaper from publishing the names and addresses of gun permit holders.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and state Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson)are backing the decision by County Clerk Dennis Sant to not release the names of the pistol permit holders in their county to The Journal News.

Sant said he believes that releasing the information could be dangerous.

"These laws were made 30 years ago. Thirty years ago, we didn't have computers, Facebook, social media, and we certainly didn't have Google Maps. I think that's what really broke the camel's back on this request."

Last week, The Journal News published an interactive map that featured thousands of pistol permit owners' names and addresses across Rockland and Westchester counties. The newspaper's editors say that the public has a right to know where guns are in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

Ball said he will introduce legislation to keep permit information private except to prosecutors and police.

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