After outcry over map of gun permit holders, newspaper hires armed guards

The Journal News  published a map of the names and addresses of all handgun permit-holders in two metro New York counties.

Story highlights

  • A newspaper in suburban New York published an online map of handgun permit-holders
  • The publication triggered strong response, including e-mails
  • An editor at the paper reported one e-mail to police
  • The resulting police report confirms private armed guards were hired by the paper

The newspaper that published an online, interactive map of handgun permit holders in two suburban New York counties hired armed guards to protect its office after negative backlash from the map publication, according to a local police report.

The January 1 report from the Clarkstown police department in Rockland County confirms the presence of armed private security guards at the Journal News. The incident report stemmed from e-mail responses to the newspaper's online map.

The police statement says Caryn McBride, the paper's Rockland editor, reported "that she received an e-mail from an unknown subject who wrote that he wondered what (she) would get in her mail now."

"The e-mail was brief and did not contain any threats," the police report continues, adding that the officer who wrote it told McBride "the e-mail did not constitute an offense."

The report adds that a private company "is doing private security work on location at the Journal News ... (the company's) employees are armed and will be on site ... through at least January 2, 2013."

FBI gun background checks hit record highs

The Journal News did not immediately respond Wednesday when asked by CNN for comment.

      Just Watched

      Newspaper's gun permit map causes outcry

    Newspaper's gun permit map causes outcry 02:40
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      NRA pres.: Paper demonized gun owners

    NRA pres.: Paper demonized gun owners 03:22
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Anger over map of gun permit owners

    Anger over map of gun permit owners 03:36
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Gun control group opposes gun permit map

    Gun control group opposes gun permit map 03:50
    PLAY VIDEO

    The armed guards' presence at Journal News comes after gun-owning blogger Christopher Fountains posted the home addresses of newspaper staffers on his blog in response to the map, which was published online on December 22.

    Fountains spoke to CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" last week to explain his reasoning behind the posting. "I felt they were using this (the interactive map showing gun permit-holders' addresses) to harass gun owners," Fountain said. "So I harassed them back."

    Fountain posted the name, home address and phone numbers of the Journal News' publisher, editor, visual editor and several other staff members. Fountain told CNN's "Early Start" that he was offended by the newspaper's actions and "wondered how they would like it if their addresses were published."

    The map, published by the Journal News, allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents in Westchester and Rockland counties are licensed to own pistols or revolvers. Blue dots indicated permit holders who "have purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years."

    Airport screeners discover more than 1,500 guns in 2012

    The paper's publisher, Janet Hasson, president of the Journal News Media Group, defended the decision December 26 in a statement.

    "One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings," she said, referring to the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

        Gun control debate

      • Gun rights and gun control advocates largely agree there should be restrictions on mentally ill people obtaining firearms. The case of Myron Fletcher illustrates how difficult it is to put that into practice.
      • Six months after a gunman burst into a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school and slaughtered 20 children and killed six others, promises of stricter national gun control laws remain largely unfulfilled.
      • An undated photo of murder suspect Elliot Rodger is seen at a press conference by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff in Goleta, California May 24, 2014. Rodger, 22, went on a rampage in Isla Vista near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus, stabbed three people to death at his apartment before shooting to death three more in a terrorizing crime spree through the neighborhood. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

        Next time there's a mass shooting, don't jump to blame the National Rifle Association and lax gun laws. Look first at the shooter and the mental health services he did or didn't get, and the commitment laws in the state where the shooting took place.
      • Melvin Speight uses a camera scope run down a barrel to check the rifleing inside. Speight has been with Colt for 7 years.

        The sign at the door of the Colt factory displays a gun with a slash through it: "No loaded or unauthorized firearms beyond this point." Understandable for workers at a plant, but also a bit ironic, considering one of the largest arsenals in America lies just beyond.
      • clip inside man spurlock gun ownership_00004707.jpg

        Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" gives CNN viewers an inside and in-depth look at the issue of firearms -- as viewed from behind the counter of a gun store. Here are five things to know about the debate.
      •  	US President Barack Obama is accompanied by former lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords (L), vice president Joe Biden (R) and family members of Newtown school shooting victims as he speaks on gun control at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2013. Obama on Wednesday slammed what he called a 'minority' in the US Senate for blocking legislation that would have expanded background checks on those seeking to buy guns. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

        The Senate defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.
      • Jessica Ghawi

        As Congress grapples with major gun control legislation proposals, brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and children write about the people they loved and lost to gun violence and how it changed their lives.
      • Many Americans and lawmakers are in favor of continuing or expanding background checks on gun purchases, but few understand how the checks work.
      • Still stinging from the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook, Connecticut lawmakers approved what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation.
      • It took fewer than five minutes for Adam Lanza to squeeze off 154 rounds, upending life in Newtown, Connecticut, and triggering a renewed national debate over gun control.
      • A former drug addict turned anti-violence crusader, and a man who lost his father in a temple shooting. These are just two of many in the conversation.