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Image: dblancquaert/Flickr

Authorities in a suburban county north of New York City said on Tuesday they would refuse to release names of local gun permit holders to a newspaper that has been publishing the identities of thousands of license-holding residents.

Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant said he would defy a request for information about pistol permit holders from the White Plains, New York-based Journal News, which has come under criticism for publishing thousands of such identities already.

“There is the rule of law, and there is right and wrong and the Journal News is clearly wrong,” Sant said in a statement. “I could not live with myself if one Putnam pistol permit holder was put in harm’s way, for the sole purpose of selling newspapers.”

The Journal News first published a map listing thousands of pistol permit-holders in Westchester and Rockland counties, just north of New York City, on December 24. Both counties provided the information after the newspaper, which is owned by Gannett Co, submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Source: Noreen O’Donnell for Reuters

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