The lines are in the sand in Putnam County where the feisty county clerk is refusing to grant a newspaper request for the names and addresses of gun permit owners such was done in two neighboring counties.
The publishing of what seemingly is in the public record has caused a furor with gun owners claiming their privacy is breached and such information may make them a target for crime.
Local pols are pledging to "pass a law" to stop such releases.
The Journal News is insisting they want the list and experts say they likely would prevail if they spend some lawyer time fighting it.
With circulation dropping, will this just alienate potential readers or is a public interest served by bringing attention to permit holders ?
There are all sorts of public record items newspapers routinely pass over...Things like bankruptcies, judgments, traffic tickets, divorces (they do a list but not the particulars), health violations, building code violations, police calls to a home....the list goes on and on.
These things get mentioned if there is a nexus to a crime or sometimes if it's an elected official as they have diminished expectations of privacy.
The Putnam clerk has become a here in FOX world although the story will likely get little play elsewhere. In fact, the clerk may be intentionally disregarding the law, and is that right ?
For the paper, it may be a matter of journalistic hubris at this point.
I know it's not a fight any NNY media would take on.
Defiant county official refuses to hand over list of gun owners to newspaper | Fox News