Rockland Coalition Blasts Gun Map, Seeks Change

Bipartisan group disavows newspaper's map, calls for new gun initiatives.

Corrections officers at Rockland County jails are facing a problem entirely new to them, sheriff Louis Falco said Friday morning.

Inmates have been approaching the workers for the past two weeks and reciting the officers' home addresses.

Falco said the issue stems from a map published in December by a local newspaper that charts all legally licensed pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties. The map—created by The Journal News and hosted on LoHud.com—allows viewers to see the names and addresses of all residents who are allowed to own concealable firearms.

Falco was flanked by a coalition of bipartisan Rockland politicos at 11 New Hempstead Rd. in New City who find common ground in assailing the map—and the periodical that published it. A group of local police chiefs and leaders from the Democrat, Republican, Independence and Working Families parties all disavowed the map.

"This is an issue of common sense," said legislator Frank Sparaco (R). "The Journal News' sensational actions have placed residents at risk." Sparaco also called on the periodical's editors to remove the map from their website.

Paul Piperato, Rockland County's clerk, said lawmakers are pushing for legislation in Albany that would make future attempts to publish gun data difficult, or impossible. Piperato spoke of a nascent bill that would make pistol owner data confidential, and searchable only by law enforcement.

A portion of the press conference also touched on gun safety—while condemnation of the map was unanimous, politicos called for a ban on assault weapons, as well. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger (D) also proposed a program that would distribute free cable locks to all legal gun owners in the county.

"Cable locks are better than trigger locks," Schoenberger said. "They work not just on handguns, but on rifles and shotguns, too."

Falco said the locks would be distributed at no cost to the taxpayer—the county has a surplus of 1,600. There would be a limit of four per household, he added.

In Putnam County, lawmakers have adopted a similar sentiment, and are declining to release the requested firearm information to the newspaper—a refusal that is illegal, as the information is public.

Friday morning's press conference included moments of action, too, when legislator Aron Wieder (D) officially filed for a pistol permit.

 "I will do anything to keep my family safe," he said.

JustVisiting January 07, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Why isn't the Journal news being prosecuted for reckless endangerment. They deliberately set out to make lawful citizens a target for those who would confront them fully aware that this information may create a substantial even potentially life threatening risk for these people. There also inciting to riot. Lets be honest by urging their subscribers they were provoking them to tremulous confrontations which could easily turn violent if these people feel threatened. An outcome the paper presumed was likely by their explanation that it needed to publish these names because of "public safety". To claim they weren't provoking people is like Charles mansion technically claiming HE didn't kill anybody. Last but not least the first thing these hypocrites did when they were only criticized over a phone was to find people with guns to protect themselves a right they conveniently think of unreasonable for others to have. Ironic considering the reporter who wrote the story has a ccw and doesn't appear on the outing map. You have to wonder does he carry it for protection or just so he can keep endangering other people. § 120.20 Reckless endangerment in the second degree A person is guilty when he or she recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person § 240.08 Inciting to riot A person is guilty when he urges ten or more persons to engage in tumultuous and violent conduct of a kind likely to create public alarm


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