The Journal News

Bobby Jindal

In Louisiana, journalists face jail time for publishing gun info

Last Wednesday Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law a bill that imposes a $10,000 fine and up to six months in jail for anyone who publishes “any information contained in an application for a concealed handgun permit or any information regarding the identity of any person who applied for or received a concealed handgun permit.”

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jeff Thompson, cited The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News’ publication of a map identifying holders of gun permits late last year as impetus for the measure, and said the law represented “a great day in Louisiana and across this nation for those of us who refuse to give an inch when it comes to defending our right to protect our families and we will stand strong in the defense of the Second Amendment.”

But this particular law has a serious First Amendment dimension as well. Read more

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Toledo mayor calls Blade ‘irresponsible’ for reporting information he won’t release

The Blade | The Journal News

Toledo’s mayor blasted The (Toledo, Ohio) Blade for publishing its own map of gang territories in the city, but he still refused to make public a police map of gang activity. The Blade made its map “after exhaustive interviews and research,” Ignazio Messina writes.

Mayor Mike Bell said the map, which is part of a series, threatened outside investment in the city. The series started Sunday.

“I would say it is probably one of the most irresponsible forms of journalism that I have read in the paper since I have been in this city, from the standpoint of the recoil it possibly will have on the economy in terms of being able to recruit people and bring people in,” Mr.

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Des Moines Register pulls map of school district security following criticism

The Des Moines Register | The Blaze | Fox News

The Des Moines Register published then removed an interactive map Wednesday that looked at how school resource officers are deployed in Iowa after it drew criticism from people who thought the map showed unprotected districts. Or as Fox News host Megyn Kelly put it, “If I’m some psycho, I might wanna play my odds.”

The map “identifies more than 100 public schools, from kindergarten through high school and community college campuses that have no security,” Mike Opelka wrote on The Blaze.

The Register changed the map to show only districts with full-time security, Fox News reports, then ditched that map, too. The article, which has drawn some angry comments, now has no map — and no note explaining what happened. Read more

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Shielding gun permits will cost New York counties big bucks

Daily Freeman
New York’s tough new gun law allows holders of gun permits to opt out of having their names disclosed to those requesting public records. Last month, Dutchess County Clerk Bradford Kendall said gun permits “should be treated the same as a driver’s license”:

“If there is a legitimate need to look at an individual license there are certainly enough avenues to do that, but you cannot FOIL the entire list.”

This provision was added to the law by lawmakers upset that The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News published a map of gun owners’ names and addresses it received via Freedom of Information Law requests to county clerks’ offices. Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant refused The Journal News’ request, saying “There is the rule of law, and there is right and wrong and The Journal News is clearly wrong.”

The opt-out provision is proving very popular. Read more


Arkansas editor apologizes, takes down permit list after gun owners harass her

Arkansas Business | Gawker

“I was stupid. Also naïve,” Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz writes about her decision to post, then take down, a list of Arkansas concealed carry permit holders’ names and ZIP codes.

After she posted the list “my name, my husband’s name, home address, phone and work phone numbers and pictures of my house — from the same Pulaski County tax records that Arkansas Business regularly mines for news — were posted all over the Internet,” Moritz writes.

Our home phone began ringing constantly, silenced only when we unplugged it in order to go to sleep. (This may be the prompt I needed to finally get rid of that landline.) My work email address filled up with requests, complaints, insults, veiled threats and, yes, quite a few messages of thanks and appreciation.

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FBI investigates threats against professor after NYT quoted him about gun map

Online Journalism Review | New Haven Register | Jim Romenesko | Boing Boing | Times Herald-Record | Chronicle of Higher Education
SUNY New Paltz students are learning “the cost of being a source.” Professor Howard Good says he was harassed by gun-rights activists and had white powder mailed to his home after he was interviewed by The New York Times about The Journal News’ map. He writes:

I spoke with the reporter, who was up against a deadline, for about 10 minutes. The story that appeared the next morning omitted at least 99.9 percent of our conversation. My contribution to public enlightenment consisted of a single remark shorn of context and nuance and stuck in a bottom paragraph that begged to go unread.

Still, that remark was followed almost immediately by emails and other reaction, Jeremiah Horrigan reports in the (Middletown, N.Y.) Times Herald-Record. Read more

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Maine paper drops request for gun permit info

Bangor Daily News | Portland Press Herald | Morning Sentinel
The Bangor Daily News will no longer seek information about concealed-carry permits for firearms in Maine, Anthony Ronzio writes.

We have informed the agencies who received our request to disregard it. We’ve informed the agencies who have responded that their records will be destroyed.

The paper, Ronzio writes, “never would have published personally identifying information of any permit holder in Maine, as a newspaper in New York had done. To have done so would have been irresponsible to our readers and our communities.” Read more


Citing Journal News map, Arkansas senate passes stricter gun-records bill

Arkansas’ state senate has passed a bill banning the release of gun owners’ names and ZIP codes, the only information currently available to seekers of public records under the state’s Freedom of Information law.

“Republican state Senator Bruce Holland, the bill’s sponsor, said he introduced the legislation after a constituent contacted him with concerns about the Journal News’ actions,” Suzi Parker reports. The suburban New York paper published a map of local gun-permit holders in late December, a move that caused New York state to tighten access to the records. The Journal News removed the map last month.

Nicholas Stehle of the gun-advocacy group Arkansas Carry said the names and ZIP codes of gun owners are “more information than I’d be comfortable sharing if I were a single woman with an abusive ex-husband.” Arkansas Gov. Read more


New York Times can’t have addresses of gun owners, court says

A New York appellate court has sided with the New York City Police Department in a dispute over whether it should turn over home addresses of handgun owners to The New York Times, which made a Freedom of Information Law request for them in 2010. Dana Rubinstein describes the court’s thinking: Releasing the addresses “might endanger permit-holders, and, since the NYPD had already released the zip codes of permit-holders to the Times, would really serve no further journalistic purpose.”

New York state approved a gun law last month that put a lid on public records about gun owners.

The Times had no plans to publish a Journal News-style map of gun owners in New York City, a Times source told Rubinstein in January:

The Times rarely, if ever, publishes raw data, and it had no intention of publishing the addresses of the permit holders, someone at the newspaper told me, when I called to ask about the suit.

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Journal News fronts gun info about Congress members

The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal-News isn’t the only Gannett paper fronting an investigation into gun ownership among members of Congress by the company’s Washington, D.C., bureau and USA Today. But it’s probably the Gannett paper with the most celebrated history of tracking gun ownership. Read more

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