Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has made a formal request to the publisher of the Journal News, Janet Hasson, that she take down the interactive map on the newspaper's website that identifies those who have gun licenses and also lists their home addresses.
In his letter he says, "The Journal News has the right to request the information from the Westchester County Clerk's Office under the Freedom of Information Act.... But simply because the right to do something exists does not necessarily make it right to do."
In his letter Astorino states that the map "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 ends by saying, " for the safety and welfare of our citizenry, I implore you once again to delete the information from your website. Taking down the map would be in the public's interest, which your newspaper is in the business to serve. "
On Monday, State Senator Greg Ball, a Republican from Putnam County claimed that a burglary on Davis Avenue in White Plains could be tied back to the publication of the interactive map in the Journal News.
In Balls view, "The Journal News has placed the lives of these folks at risk by creating a virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs. If the connection is proven, this is further proof that these maps are not only an invasion of privacy but that they present a clear and present danger to law-abiding, private citizens. Former convicts have already testified to the usefulness of the asinine Journal News 'gun maps' yet the reckless editors are evidently willing to roll the dice, gambling with the lives of innocent local homeowners."
Ball is introducing legislation to protect the privacy rights of citizens and to protect "lawful" gun owners. According to Ball, "The same elitist eggheads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law abiding citizens like level three sexual predators."