WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A lawmaker has expressed concern that a burglary in White Plains might be tied to the gun permit map the Journal News recently showed the world.
Read: White Plains PBA Letter to Journal News (pdf)
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the home on Davis Avenue was one of several red dots scattered across the neighborhood on the map the Journal News released last month.
A source said burglars broke in Saturday evening, and went straight for the gun safe. But they could not get it open.
“It’s absolutely sickening,” said New York State Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson.)
Ball has been outspoken since the uproar about the map began. His bills would ban the release of gun permit information to the public.
“We’re not surprised,” Ball said. “Criminals have already testified to the fact that this would happen. If this is the case, the Journal News needs to be held personally responsible.”
On Monday, Ball will unveil S2132, which he said will protect the privacy rights of ordinary citizens, police officers, victims of domestic violence, and private citizens who own guns.
“The same elitist eggheads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law abiding citizens like level three sexual predators,” Ball said in a news release. “These bills are critical to keep folks safe and fundamentally protect their inherent right to privacy.”
1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels wanted to hear from the homeowner if thieves tried to get into the gun safe, but he refused to comment. But his neighbor, M.A., confirmed there was a burglary.
M.A. does not have a gun and is not on the Journal News map. She defended the choice to release the list.
“You know, I think it should be out there,” she said. “I think it protects people more than it harms them.”
It was not known Sunday evening whether the homeowner had any ties to law enforcement. White Plains police have not confirmed any of the details of the break-in or the investigation.
The reaction to the project, which includes an article and interactive map that reveals the names and addresses of people licensed to own handguns, was mixed.
The Journal News released a statement about the project saying, “Sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.”
However, some worried it could make the situation worse.
“If you’re a robber looking to burglarize a home where you might steal guns now you a have a map,” senior correspondent John Miller said on CBS This Morning.
The Journal News had planned to release a similar map for Putnam County, but the County Clerk Dennis Sant refused to release names and addresses.
The Web site Gawker also published a 446-page list of licensed gun owners for New York City – including only names and not addresses. The list drew consternation from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
“I think the rules for getting a gun need to be tougher, but if you meet the rules, and you get a license in the legal way, and you have that license, I don’t think that should be printed in a newspaper,” she said.
Do you think the list could be to blame for the burglary? Leave your comments below…