The fallout from the reckless actions of the Journal News continues as the first lawsuit in reaction to their publishing a map of gun permit holders has been filed. May it be the first of many.
The Journal News faces a lawsuit from a business that claims the newspaper defamed it in an interactive map it published after the Newtown school massacre, showing names and addresses of licensed handgun owners.
First Impression LLC, a gift shop and interior design firm in Katonah, sued The Journal News, of West Nyack, and its corporate parent, Gannett Co., in Westchester County Court.
The two-page, bare-bones Summons With Notice accuses the newspaper of “falsely, maliciously, recklessly, slanderously, libelously and irresponsibly publicly stating in the interactive website www.lohud.com that plaintiff First Impression LLC is a licensed handgun owner.”
The newspaper on Dec. 23 published an interactive map of Westchester and Rockland counties, allowing users to “click any dot on the map to see which of their neighbors has a permit for a gun,” ABC News reported on Christmas Eve.
“The map sparked more than 500 comments from readers within a day of its appearance on the website, many of them voicing outrage at the paper’s decision to make the information public,” according to ABC News.
The Journal News map made national headlines, as it seemed an in-your-face response to the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre. Gun groups were outraged.
The Journal News said the names and addresses of gun owners were compiled from public records. The newspaper requested similar information from Putnam County, which has refused to provide it, according to a story published today in the Journal News.
Putnam County officials will officially refuse to release the information in a Thursday press conference, the Journal News reported today.
State Senator Greg Ball has been leading the charge against this outrageous behavior.
Told that the publisher of the Journal News said that “the law is clear that this is public information and the residents of Putnam County are entitled to see it,” Ball told the newspaper in a statement: “The county clerk has my full support to protect these law abiding citizens and if The Journal News thinks they can intimidate Putnam, they are sorely mistaken. Before I waver, the egghead editors at the Journal News can kiss my white, Irish behind.”
Bravo, Senator Ball.