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NY Judge sides with newspaper over pistol permit information

The Westchester Supreme Court has ruled that Putnam County cannot legally prevent the names and addresses of pistol permit holders from being made public in electronic form.  The Judge found in favor of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., the owner of The Journal News.

 

Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant refused to disclose the information requested by Gannett through a Freedom of Information Law.  The Journal News published similar information from Rockland and Westchester Counties soon after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

 

Sant's denial cited exceptions to the law which protects from an unwarranted invasion of privacy and for withholdings in the case of protecting the life or safety of a person.  That decision was upheld by County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  She said publishing permit holder's addresses would create a dangerous roadmap for those with a criminal intent.

 

In his decision, Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary said the grounds for denial predated the 2013 amendment which would allow permit holders to file for an exemption to keep their information from becoming public record.  The applicants can include active duty or retired police, peace, probation, parole and corrections officers and their spouses, and witnesses or jurors in a criminal proceeding and their spouses.

 

Putnam County officials say they will likely appeal the decision.c