White Plains PBA chief calls for Journal News publisher to quit over gun permit map

A Glock 29 10-mm pistol hangs on display A Glock 29 10-mm pistol hangs on display with other Glock hand guns at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas. (Jan. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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In a sharply worded public letter, the chief of the White Plains police union on Monday called for the resignation of The Journal News publisher Janet Hasson over the paper's publication of a controversial gun permit holders map.

"Your reckless printing of this map has endangered so many of us and assisted the bad guys in their endeavor to get their hands on guns," wrote Robert Riley, White Plains Police Benevolent Association president.

His letter said he believes the map led to the theft of guns in recent burglaries in White Plains and in Rockland County, though police are still investigating the cases.

A call to The Journal News for comment on Monday was not immediately returned.

The paper has been the target of sharp criticism from gun rights advocates and some media ethicists since running a story and interactive map Dec. 23 that included the names and addresses of gun permit holders. The story was published nine days after the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 young children and seven adults.

The map was removed Friday from the paper's website in the wake of new gun control laws passed by the state Legislature, which included privacy provisions allowing would-be gun owners to shield their identities from reporters and the public. Hasson issued a statement at the time saying the paper was complying with the "spirit" of the law by taking down the map.

Although some good-government groups have come to the defense of the White Plains-based newspaper, some elected officials have complained the permit map could aid criminals and endanger police officers, whose addresses were on the map as permit holders.

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