WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Journal News ' controversial online map of pistol-permit holders that sparked opposition and threats from gun owners was taken down Friday evening.
Publisher Janet Hasson said in a letter to readers that the decision to remove the map was not a concession to critics, who had alleged the map would allow criminals to target gun owners or that there was no value in publishing the permit data.
“On the contrary, we've heard from too many grateful community members to consider our decision to post information contained in the public record to have been a mistake,” she said. “Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers . We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower.”
The newspaper decided to remove the map because enough time had passed for readers to see it, Hasson said, and the data was becoming obsolete.
The controversial map included the names and addresses of people with gun permits in Westchester and Rockland counties. The newspaper had also requested data from Putnam County, but officials refused to divulge it.
Several public officials and law enforcement groups denounced the map, and gun legislation passed earlier in Albany included provisions allowing permit holders to remain confidential.
Several Journal News staff members reported receiving threats because of the map.