A New York county clerk refused to release the names of gun owner’s in his area and detailed his justification for the decision during a recent meeting with the press. Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant voiced statements which echo many of the same concerns voiced by gun rights groups. The publication of the names of gun owners by The Journal News basically boils down to a safety issue for the Putnam County official.
During the meeting with the press on Thursday, the county clerk had this to say about The Journal News request for names of gun owners:
“This certainly puts my public in danger. First of all, it tells criminals who doesn’t have a gun. It gives a burglar or it gives a thief a map.”
Putnam County Clerk Sant was backed by other county officials during the press conference. As previously published by The Inquisitr, The Journal News published an interactive map with the names and addresses gun owners in two New York counties.
Dennis Sant reviewed The Journal News requests and ultimately denied the public records request. The Putnam County Clerk noted that the law gives him the right to refuse the release of such requests if the information places the public in danger, according to Fox News.
The county clerk, and multiple gun rights advocates, have noted that police officers and judges could become easy targets for criminals looking for payback after an arrest or guilty verdict. The county official also stated that residents with protections orders could also be placed in danger if their names and addresses were published. Those without a current order of protection but who have been the victims of domestic violence or harassed by a stalker could also be adversely impacted by the publication of their location.
The Putnam official stated that an individual can come into his office and file the required paperwork to request details on individual permits. The difference between an individual request and the publication of all the names is the mass accessibility issue, according to Sant.