Support also vowed for tighter restrictions on gun permit information
BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
The Journal News editorial board and publisher Janet Hasson were condemned today by law enforcement, a bipartisan group of legislators, County Clerk Paul Piperato and the five major political parties of Rockland County, for their publication of an interactive map exposing the addresses of gun owners on the website www.lohud.com.
Piperato said, “This is no way to sell newspapers. I want to demand The Journal News get that map and that list off their website.”
Piperato is also president of the New York State Association of County Clerks. He said the clerks of all 62 counties in New York support legislation restricting publication of gun permit registration. He also noted, “I’ve received hundreds of calls from people worried about their safety. The Journal News is trying to relate this information to the Newtown [shootings]. I don’t see the relationship.”
Those gathered indicated support for the state law prohibiting the publication of such information and advertised a new initiative forthcoming whereby gun owners will have the opportunity to pick up free trigger locks for their guns at a to-be-determined county office building.
In nearby Putnam County, Clerk Dennis Sant has refused the request by The Journal News to release the public records of pistol permit holder, citing public safety concerns. State Senator Greg Ball has been pushing a Senate bill to restrict access to permit information and there is a similar bill in the state Assembly.
The group of lawmakers and officials present at the Rockland County press conference were brought together by Rockland Legislator and Deputy Minority Leader Frank Sparaco. Those present included Sheriff Louis Falco, Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica, Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan, County Legislators Ilan Schoenberger, Aron Weider and Tony Earl, Clerk Piperato, and the committee leaders of the Republican, Democratic, Independence, Working Families and Conservative Parties.
Conservative Party Executive Committee member Paul Murray said on behalf of Chairman Ed Lettre, “I find it deplorable and we condemn what the Journal News has done.”
Rockland County Democratic Chairwoman Kristen Stavisky said as a Democrat she is supportive of stronger gun control but noted, ”I understand this is a different issue.”