Weeks after causing a firestorm of controversy by posting an interactive map showing gun owners in their readership area, the Journal News, a New York state newspaper, has taken the maps down, citing recently-passed laws. A statement from the paper's publisher, Janet Hasson: →
“With the passage this week of the NYSAFE gun law, which allows permit holders to request their names and addresses be removed from the public record, we decided to remove the gun permit data from lohud.com at 5 pm today.
While the new law does not require us to remove the data, we believe that doing so complies with its spirit. For the past four weeks, there has been vigorous debate over our publication of the permit data, which has been viewed nearly 1.2 million times by readers. One of our core missions as a newspaper is to empower our readers with as much information as possible on the critical issues they face, and guns have certainly become a top issue since the massacre in nearby Newtown, Conn. Sharing as much public information as possible provides our readers with the ability to contribute to the discussion, in any way they wish, on how to make their communities safer.
We remain committed to our mission of providing the critical public service of championing free speech and open records.”
The paper faced weeks worth of controversy from gun advocates and conservatives, some of who reacted by returning the favor and revealing addresses of newspaper staffers.