Police Group Says Pistol Permit Map Puts Cops In Danger

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The Affiliated Police Association assembled in front of the Westchester County Courthouse on Tuesday to ask The Journal News to remove its interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol license holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The Affiliated Police Association says The Journal News put current and retired police officers at risk by publishing a map showing the names and addresses of all pistol license holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The Affiliated Police Association assembled in front of the Westchester County courthouse Tuesday to ask the Journal News to remove the interactive map showing the names and addresses of all gun license holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. ‒ More than 30 law enforcement officers assembled Tuesday outside the Westchester County Courthouse demanding that The Journal News remove its interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol license holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

The officers are members of the Affiliated Police Association, an organization that has members in 53 law enforcement groups in the region. Its vice president, Robert Buckley led chants of "Shame on you," and "Take down the list, " and said he has "grave concerns for any person that has a gun permit."

CynDee Royle, vice president/news and executive editor of The Journal News, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino also called on the newspaper Tuesday to take down the map. He acknowledged that the newspaper had the right to request the information under the state Freedom of Information Law but said he made the request based on safety concerns.

"It demonized individuals who did nothing wrong, violated their privacy and potentially put them and their families ‒ especially victims of domestic violence and current and former judges and law enforcement officials ‒ in harm's way," he said in a statement.

The police group said it will hold The Journal News accountable if any of its members are targeted as a result of being on named on the map. When asked what specific action it would take, Buckley said the group would pursue legal action or any other remedy available to it.

Since publishing the map Dec. 23, employees of The Journal News have received harassing phone calls. Suspicious packages have also been sent to its headquarters in White Plains, as well as to Royle's home. None of the packages or letters contained harmful material, police have said.

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Comments (32)

Vinnygoombada:

Wah wah wah. Now you want to take away first amendment rights too?...

I would agree it was poor judgement and with readership as well as sponsorship decreases should be the answer....

Not more knee jerk laws that restrict the rights of people, That were meant to keep this country free.

livefree:

How are you supposed to figure out where a cop lives? Seems like you would have to hover over each of the hundreds of pinpoints until you find someone with the name you are looking for. If you are looking for a particular officer, you may or may not even find him. First of all, he would have to live in one of the counties and he would have to have a gun permit. Police officers don't need to have a gun permit. Seems harder to do than they make it out to be.

PSNSNY:

In previous articles, TJN used the same tactic to ID the salaries of police officers & the pensions of retirees. Remember?

Believe what I say as gospel, because I know the following are facts. As detailed in responses to TJN's articles & as detailed at the press conference (the footage of which was not "aired") anyone could have downloaded a spreadsheet containing the 16,616 names from TJN's map. Anyone means: terrorist organizations, foreign govt. intelligence, gangs, you, and me.

Furthermore, a criminal will use the map to ID the most vulnerable homes with easy access & escape, one at a time.

Jns1981:

Retired police officers and self protection licenses are full conceal and carry permits. the license situation in ny state is odd, an individual needs a license to simply own a handgun which is different than the permit required to simply purchase and own a handgun. Many police officers never publish their name in phone books or the modern equivalent even after retirement as the history of their work can and will create people that would very much like to do them harm. People will search for specific names to do harm.

jlombard63:

Utterly laughable. Don't just read what's printed here ....go to the map and see how useful it is for finding anything other than a single house at a time. After you've done that you will ask yourself "have any of these cops did likewise or are the just reading the script that the NRA handed them"

PSNSNY:

Believe what I say as gospel, because I know the following are facts. As detailed in responses to TJN's articles & as detailed at the press conference (the footage of which was not "aired") anyone could have downloaded a spreadsheet containing the 16,616 names from TJN's map. Anyone means: terrorist organizations, foreign govt. intelligence, gangs, you, and me. This organization has zero, no, ties to the NRA. The remarks were written by the speaker & reviewed by two other people.

Furthermore, a criminal will use the map ti ID the most vulnerable homes with easy access & escape, one at a time.

MisterBill2:

HUH???

luis.contreras.16144:

Guns are worth more then a flat screen tv! Quick money for a burglar! On the other hand a house without a gun it's an easy target! Thanks to the journal news thieves now have a map for both!!

jobal:

Stop buying the paper; stop advertising in it; don't patronize those who do - and let them know why.

Pat McGuire Leavy:

It certainly has put the JN on the map! haha! Not in such a good way perhaps. Although I'm enjoying my FREE access to their website since their negative press, since they decided they would charge a fee from the over-taxed and politically burdened within the geographic of their reading interest. Hopefully I will continue to LOOK UPON THEIR WORDS for free in the future!

Mke1940:

Let's say you're a police officer responding to a report of a domestic dispute. Wouldn't you like to know whether or not there's a gun in that house?

Let's say your neighbor is having a loud party at 2am. Wouldn't you like to know if there's a gin in their house before you go over there and complain?

Let's say you're a gun owner. Are you ashamed of that? If its your God given right to keep a gun in your home, wouldn't you want the whole world to know?

If you think you are more likely to be burglarized if every body knows you have a gun in your home, why don't you keep your 50-inch flat screen Tv a secret?

mrclean:

ridiculous comments. If I'm a police officer responding to a report of a domestic dispute, sure I'd like to know if there's a gun in the house. Do you think the the police have to get that information off the Journal News website or do you think they have that information already?

If my neighbor is having a loud party a 2am and I'm not friendly enough with him as to be comfortable to pick up the phone and ask him to keep it down, I'd call the police and file a noise complaint.

If I'm a gun owner, I'm not ashamed of it. But I'm also a responsible person who has a gun for protection and hope to god that I never have to use it. I'm not even proud that we live in a community in which I feel that I need to have a gun to protect my home, but we do. I certainly don't think it's necessary or smart to let the whole world know.

I also don't advertise my name and address on the internet that I have a 50 inch flat screen TV in my home. Why would I advertise that I have a gun.

You need to make better arguments as to why it makes sense to put these people on an interactive map on the internet. What purpose did it serve? What was the reason for it. If they wanted to show us how many people living nearby that have guns, they could have delivered that information in a much more responsible way.

Jns1981:

You are presenting the idea that the map was created by the county itself based on safety concerns... That is a very far stretch of the idea of safety. While I am neither ashamed nor proud of the fact I own anything, I simply enjoy the things I own- it is putting very private information in a very public landscape. Google blurs out faces from pictures it takes in public to calm privacy concerns, this map created by a company for profit was used with the intent to slander the owners of certain items within the county. To try and flip a very dangerous invasion of privacy as a good safety measure is skewed. It's very easy to assume opinion when your privacy is still protected. The concept of putting yourself in the shoes of another is an incredibly valuable social and leadership function that will help any basic interaction. When the editors were literally placed in the shoes of those they mapped out, the hired armed guards. That in itself should explain everything.

Mememom:

Such a fuss! You can find out anything and I mean anything about someone on the internet. What are they so upset about? I thought they were Proud Gun Owners. Are they now saying that they are embarrassed that they own them? According to Mr. Lapierre they should be the "good guys with guns" - or are they?

sandra.harrison.902604:

The names of the police were put up by the Journal when they listed their salaries. The info is still available. I would assume all police have permits to carry fire arms so the names were already out there. Most people can find out addresses on the internet. The police are always at risk and so are their families when there are guns around. What about the people on this map who aren't police officers? We should assume everyone is capable of violence and could be carrying a gun. Two police officers got shot by a man who they went after for going from car to car on the subway. They should have been better prepared. All cops should wear protective clothing. Knowing the name of the person having a permit in my building was a shock but these are only the weapons that are legal and do not cover all firearms. Guns are only part of the problem. People can kill with their bare hands, a rock, a knife or even a baseball bat. Be safe by staying aware of your surroundings at all times. I was a teacher for over 30 yrs and kids brought weapons to school (including guns) and I was in the office when one of my students tried to shoot an administrator. Don't be an ostrich with its head in a hole in the ground!

kasey38:

I also would like to see the Journal News withdraw the map. But the damage is done. However, it think it would be highly improbable to prove any break-in can be tied to this map. Freedom of Information or not, I don't see the purpose of the paper publishing this information.

vet-wife:

What part of the words "Concealed Carry Permit "- the point is that it is not known that the person has a pistol? Broadcasting the names & addresses holders of a pistol permit is a road map for those who wish to steal a hand gun. The gun safe was targeted per the article on News12 regarding the break in over the weekend in White Plains. If there wasn't a map how would they have known to look for a gun safe.

Broadcasting the names and addresses of law abiding citizens who have spent significant time and energy to follow the law and hold a pistol legally shows exactly that LoHud had an anti-gun agenda, that they wish pistol permit holders harm. Battered women, prosecuters, police officers, judges & their families have just been put in risk of being targeted by those lookng to hurt them . I canceled my subscription and I know of many more who have done so as well.

pamela.b.montgomery:

I'm just wondering... how does publishing a map showing gun permit holders "demonize" those holders? Or was there an accompanying article that I missed where the demonization occurred? I'm just trying to understand why people think permit holders were demonized. Are they embarrassed? Ashamed? Now they think they are targets, really? I would have thought the people truly at risk are the ones who are NOT on the map -- i.e., the people without guns. If any criminal is clever enough to check the map .... wouldn't he prefer to go to a home whose owners are (probably) unarmed?

mrclean:

Pamela, I don't know that the map demonizes the people on it as much as that may have been the intent. And I don't think that the people on the list are embarrassed or ashamed that they own a gun. What the Journal News did was not the intent of the freedom of information act. Journalists have a duty to act responsibly with the information as they have a broad base for disseminating the information that they obtain... so while what they did wasn't illegal, it was irresponsible.
To the second part of your comment, if I'm a criminal and I'm looking for a gun to use illegally, I now know what houses to rob if I want to try and steal one. Not being on the list just means that house doesn't have a hand gun. It doesn't mean that the homeowner doesn't have a shotgun or a rifle.

Geerge:

What do you say to the abused woman who is trying to hide from her abusive spouse? She is also on that list . While it was legal, it wasn't the right thing to do.

QB1:

Posting pins on a map is fine, adding the names and addresses of law-abiding citizens was nothing more than a ploy to get some desperately needed attention for a failing paper.
The Journal News is a shadow of the semi-local paper it once was. It takes about 3 seconds to read and most of the news they print is available on the internet for free. Who reads the JN anymore anyway and why would anyone pay for it?

Now if only they would stop dropping that other piece of garbage, The Express, at the bottom of my driveway.

MisterBill2:

The Express is useful for the coupons and Shoprite circular. Not for the newspaper pages that are wrapped around it.

QB1:

I can't tell you the last time I clipped a coupon or used a circular. It's all available on the Internet via smartphones, tablets etc.
The Express and everything in it is garbage and a waste of paper and ink.

MisterBill2:

Lots of grocery coupons in the Sunday papers are not available online. I think you can contact TJN and tell them to stop delivering The Express.

MisterBill2:

I have heard the gun folks tell us that people who do not have guns will be robbed because crooks will know that they do not have guns. Then in the next sentence, they tell us that the crooks will be breaking into the houses of people who have guns to steal them. Which is it? Is crime going to go up across the board? Now, of course, when any house is burglarized, we will be told that it's because of the information that was published. In fact, Faux News already reported a break-in at the home of someone on the list. Of course no one asked the crook if it was random, or if they actually checked the list (which of course is very unlikely).

I also heard that police groups have told their members NOT to have a personal permit because a) it's not needed - their shield gives them permission to have a weapon, and b) because the permit information is public.

Geerge:

Retired law enforcement do need a permit.

tedc:

Not sure which I dislike more, hand guns or having my home mapped as not having one. Today O'Keefe visits our local scribes houses to persuade them to put up signs saying "This home is proudly gun-free."

This gets national coverage unlike anything to date, and finally Astro-Boy calls for a map take-down.

http://t.co/c5gKCaxx

StJames49:

Lets see, first the gun nuts tell us you are safer with a gun in the house (and everyone should have one or ten) and now they are not safe because they have a gun in the house.

As they like to tell us, "freedom is not free" and they are right. The Journal News, following in the footsteps of Jan Peter Zenger has published some unpleasant but true information and that is the price of freedom. Good for them!!!

Geerge:

They also made many mistakes with that list. Good for them?

firecommish:

What is your definition of a "gun nut"?

WPEyesNEars:

The Urinal News only hoped to get publicity out of this – and they did. Once they realized they would get this publicity, they decided to go for it. It’s a reprehensible act and had they thought this out, they would have realized that putting a picture of the map with the dots symbolizing gun permit holders would have sufficed. They are worse than our media-whore politicians. Shame on them all. If you want to find Cyndee, she’ll be out back smoking. That’s why when you call her phone it sounds like Broderick Crawford.