Law enforcement officials from a New York region where a local paper published a map identifying gun owners say prisoners are using the information to intimidate guards.
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, who spoke at a news conference flanked by other county officials, said the Journal News' decision to post an online map of names and addresses of handgun owners Dec. 23 has put law enforcement officers in danger.
"They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That's not acceptable to me," Falco said, according to Newsday.
Robert Riley, an officer with the White Plains Police Department and president of its Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, agreed.
"You have guys who work in New York City who live up here. Now their names and addresses are out there, too," he said adding that there are 8,000 active and retired NYPD officers currently living in Rockland County.
Local lawmakers also say that they intend to introduce legislation that prevents information about legal gun owners from being released to the public.
The newspaper published the online map last month alongside an article titled, "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood." The map included the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
While the paper ostensibly sought to make a point about gun proliferation in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the effort may have backfired. A blogger reacted with a map showing where key editorial staffers live, and some outraged groups have called for a boycott of parent company Gannett’s national advertisers. Ironically, the newspaper has now stationed armed guards outside at least one of its offices.