CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL: BALL SCOLDS JOURNAL NEWS FOR POSTING PERMIT DATA
Posted on December 26, 2012 at 10:59 am by Casey Seiler,
Sen. Greg Ball says he is outraged at the Journal News for posting public gun-license data for Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, and called in the paper to take down its interactive map — which Ball’s statement obligingly includes a link to.
The publication has become a cause celebre on social media, fueled by the recent stepped-up action in the debate over gun control following the Newtown killings.
The lawmaker argues that the feature provides a map for criminals looking to steal guns — although as many Second Amendment enthusiasts have noted on this blog, such a map also provides a handy list of what houses not to hit if you want to avoid being shot. A similar debate erupted in 2010 after another pool of permit data was released.
Ball says he will introduce legislation similar to a bill he multi-sponsored during his days in the Assembly that would make permit application information secure with “exceptions for prosecutors and police conducting an active investigation.”
Today Senator Greg Ball (Patterson – R, C, I) called for the Journal News Newspaper, a Gannett Company, to immediately remove a map they have posted on their website that unethically reveals homeowners with pistol permits in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties. The Journal News says that the information contained in the map was obtained by submitting Freedom of Information requests for the names and addresses of pistol permit holders by county. Senator Ball has now announced that he will introduce legislation in the New York State Senate, to prevent this from happening again.
“The asinine editors at the Journal News, have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law abiding firearm owners throughout the region. The immediate elimination of the information posted on the Journal News Website is the only way we can ensure the safety and liberty of these New Yorkers. This is clearly a violation of privacy, and needs to be corrected immediately. The same elitist egg heads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law abiding citizens like level three sexual predators. Am I surprised? No. Should every person with commonsense be offended? Yes. Furthermore, the Journal News has placed the lives of these folks at risk by creating a virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs,” said Ball. “Publishing this information on a website provides criminals with a map of where they can steal firearms from lawful owners for later use in the commission of crimes. Preventing the theft of guns and their criminal misuse is an important public-policy goal. This map is bad for the good guys and good for the bad guys.”
In the Assembly Ball multi-sponsored Assembly bill 820, legislation which would prohibit the public disclosure of information in an application for a pistol license with exceptions for prosecutors and police conducting an active investigation. Senator Ball will be introducing similar legislation, immediately. The bill would protect lawful gun owners from being targeted by thieves for firearm burglaries and eliminate a database criminals could use to extort their identity-theft victims. (ARTICLE)