The decision of the Journal News to publish databases of gun holders in Westchester and Rockland counties (New York) brought on:
• More outrage;
• A New York State law watering down public records availability on gun-permit holders;
• A cowardly reaction from Journal News principals; and, ultimately
• The removal of the original databases from the Journal News site.
Now, the legacy moves on. The Arkansas senate, according to Reuters, has passed a bill that would “exempt from public disclosure the names and zip codes of gun owners, those with permits to carry concealed guns and permit applicants.” Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) opposes the bill because it would roll back the state’s freedom of information law.
Looking for solid evidence that the Journal News episode is connected to legislative maneuverings in Arkansas? Sample this line from the Reuters story: “Republican state Senator Bruce Holland, the bill’s sponsor, said he introduced the legislation after a constituent contacted him with concerns about the Journal News’ actions.”
If only the Journal News had taken more than a week to collect the gun data and publish its story.