To Protect Gun Owners Privacy, New York Officials Prepared To Break Law

In New York, a stand-off is brewing between county officials and a newspaper over releasing the names and addresses of people with gun permits. County officials are ready to break the law to protect the privacy of people who live there.

In order to keep the names and addresses of residents with gun permits off the Internet. The Putnam County Clerk plans to refuse a request for the information from the Journal News, a local New York paper which covers suburban counties north of New York City.

But Robert Freeman, executive director of the state's committee on open government, says the county would be violating state law if it withholds the information.

In December, the Journal News published online maps which allow viewers to see the names and addresses of gun permit holders in neighboring Westchester and Rockland counties. The newspaper requested the records under the state freedom of information law after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut which left more than a dozen young children dead.

The paper has an ongoing project on gun rights, with comments from both sides of the issue, and presents the data as answering concerns of those who would like to know whether there are guns in their neighborhood.

Critics claim it's an invasion of privacy, saying it could endanger permit holders.

The Journal News could appeal a denial. If a second denial occurs, it could be up to a judge to decide.