Last month New York paper The Journal News garnered some serious attention by publishing a Google map that revealed the names and addresses of pistol and revolver permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties — but it has now pulled the information off the web. Politico reports that the publisher of the Journal News took the map offline at 5pm local time today in what the paper claims was a reaction to a new gun law recently signed by Governor Mario Cuomo. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NYSAFE) bans any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds and also institutes instant background checks on ammunition purchases. It also closes a loophole that allowed New York residents to be able to purchase weapons without a background check in some instances.
Janet Hasson, publisher of the Journal News, said in a written statement that "While the new law does not require us to remove the data, we believe that doing so complies with its spirit." Hasson points out that the permit data was viewed nearly 1.2 million times since the map went live, and despite the public outcry it engendered from some corners, frames the publication of the map as a public service that the Journal News was obligated to perform. "One of our core missions as a newspaper is to empower our readers with as much information as possible on the critical issues they face," Hasson writes, "and guns have certainly become a top issue since the massacre in nearby Newtown, Conn."