BREAKING: Putnam County Clerk Refuses to Release Pistol Permit Holders’ Info to Journal News

“Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant [above] 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,” reuters reports. ”‘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.’”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

63 Responses to BREAKING: Putnam County Clerk Refuses to Release Pistol Permit Holders’ Info to Journal News

  1. avatarWoodekt says:

    Newspapers…… A desperate and dying breed.

  2. avatardirk diggler says:

    Amen. $$ needs to flow to his re-election coffers and I would love to see the paper try to win in court . . .

  3. avatarjwm says:

    Good on you Mr. Sant.

  4. avatarIn Memphis says:

    +1 for the responsible accountable people left in politics

  5. avatarJSIII says:

    The first time someone whos info was published by this paper even has their house egged I hope they get a shyster lawyer to file a multi million dollar lawsuitagainst the paper. I would love nothing more than to see this paper bled dry in the courts and forced to shut down.

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      I only hope nothing more tragic than that. Knowing there are enough crazies who hate gun owners, publishing their personal info can be considered inflammatory or incitement to action. IANAL, but given the publication’s history of anti-gun positions, one might be able to prove malice. And not at all in the public interest. Just because people are nosey about something doesn’t make that information in the public interest.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      Won’t be a shyster. That would be righteous.

    • avatarEnsitu says:

      Ganet Publishing owns them and many Left Wing Rags

  6. avatarm.ia says:

    Mr. Dennis Sant is now a Scholar and a Gentleman in my book. And an official Stud.

    Thank you for having a conscience.

  7. avatarRoss says:

    Mr. Sant, your a Saint.

  8. avatarPascal says:

    OMG! There is at least one adult official in NY who is willing to do their job!

    • avatarLSUTigersFan says:

      Wait, armed guards?? I cannot wait who see who works for RGA Investigations when Journal News posts the names of whose RGA employees who are armed. That’s only fair, right? Isn’t that what responsible journalism is all about?

      • avatarDirk Diggler says:

        that’s what other papers should do – and post a photo of the armed guards. maybe they will quit

  9. avatarAnmut says:

    Wow – just wow. Good for you Mr. Dennis Sant. I’ll be keeping an eye on this story and contributing to any defense fund you may need. I’m sure Gannett is going to raise holy hell on this. It will be ironic to watch a company have to defend their 1st Amendment “needs” while trying to destroy our 2nd Amendment “needs.”

    • avatardirk diggler says:

      As pointed out in the news article on this, the irony is the paper hired armed guards when they have an issue with guns. I hope the judge cites this when she /he denies the injunction

  10. avatarAnmut says:

    Shoot this guy an email and let him know you support his decision!

    countyclerk@putnamcountyny.gov

  11. avatarSanchanim says:

    Question to RF, would it be possible to interview him on his stance and how he feels about the right to keep and bare arms? He is only a county clerk, but his support on this issue is important, and if he is pro 2A he might have a lot of backing moving forward.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      ^ This ^

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      Not trying to be the grammar police but I don’t think anyone is attempting to infringe upon our right to “bare arms” or even “arm bears”.

      • avatarMarcusAurelius says:

        I don’t know about that. Some cities are moving to ban sagging pants, it’s only a matter of time before sleeves are mandatory. If we don’t speak up now it won’t be long before we have fashion police thugs in Gucci made patent leather jackboots wielding Louis Vuitton branded batons.

  12. avatarsm424 says:

    I had a feeling the journal news wouldn’t be able to continue it’s crusade to putnam county. The further away from the city you get, the better NY gets. It’s really only NYC that’s anti-gun. The unfortunate part is that it makes up half of the states population.

  13. avatarJohn Barlow says:

    As a resident of Putnam county I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to read this.

  14. avatarCameron S. says:

    Great to hear!

    I’m still waiting for the class-action lawsuit on grounds of defamation of character and home security compromise or something along whatever legal lines possible.

    I would love to see the papers sued for every last penny they own.

  15. avatarGreg says:

    I sent an email to Mr. Sant, thanking him for his decision.

  16. avatarRopingdown says:

    How refreshing. An honest man with a conscience of a gentleman rather than the amoral ethical void of an ambitious journalist.

  17. avatarPeter says:

    Buy that man a beer!

  18. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Mr. Sant is a moral and ethical citizen. Thank you, Sir, for having the steel in your spine to do the right thing.

    • avatarMartin says:

      Please show your support of Dennis by joining the Facebook page set up to honor him. Let him know how many people appreciate his actions and his integrity, both inside and outside of Putnam County, N.Y.

      Thank you

  19. avatarAharon says:

    Thank you Mr. Sant!

    I wonder if the guards they hired were also victims who had their privacy outed by the Journal?

  20. avatarLance says:

    Every one who can find this man call email him and say thanks for common sense.

  21. avatarWiebelhaus says:

    A real man, thank you.

  22. avatarSammy says:

    Definitely a stand up guy.

  23. avatarCold Frog says:

    I sent Mr. Sant an e-mail thanking him for his resolve and patriotism. We need more people like him in all levels of our government.

  24. avatarDru says:

    and the First Amendment takes another hit, yet we are happy. Unbelievable

    • avatarCasey T says:

      This doesn’t hit the first amendment, it affirms the 9th amendment which has the right to privacy.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      To say that the First Amendment is taking a hit is to utterly ignore the reality, that under the guise of the First Amendment the destruction of Fourth Amendment rights was to be made ever more complete. The forced inventory of our property by the government is to be broadcast to sell papers. Is that the intention of the FOIA, or was it to let sunshine in on the government’s actions? Might as well, you are arguing, make our tax returns public. Why not our medical records? First Amendment, indeed.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      Mr. Sant is not prohibiting the newspaper from publishing anything. The First Amendment does not grant the press automatic access to personally identifiable information. If the newspaper can get the information by other means they are still free to publish it. Of course if they break the law to get it then they can still be prosecuted for criminal actions without violating their First Amendment rights.

    • avatarDru says:

      Yes the first amendment took a hit. You let a government clerk decide what we all have the right to see. Something every permit holder and applicant was aware of when they applied. You celebrate the hiding of info by your government. So what is your argument when you want info and some county clerk says no?

      All of us in NY state should have known this was possible, so we should not be surprised when it happened.

      Who said, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        There is no compelling public interest in publishing this information.

        Mr. Sant isn’t making the information non-public. He’s simply refusing to answer a FOIA request from a newspaper that’s angling for media coverage in the interest of the safety of the people who would have their names and addresses published by the paper.

        These people, the vast majority of whom are not public personas, have a reasonable right to expect some level of privacy if they have done nothing wrong or outside the law. There is no public interest served in making their names public in a newspaper.

        • avatarDrus says:

          No compelling public interest according to who? Sant also said he would break the law by not providing the info. Good for him.

          As I have said from the start, as a NY State resident I should have known that this is publicly available information and a FOIL request away from being made public.

          This fight should have been fought when that law or provision was enacted, not now. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

          “Privacy” is a quaint, cute concept now. We gave that up years ago for alleged security. We are all at fault for that

  25. avatarmymc says:

    I believe this is a better quote representing the folks in Putman county.

    Source, ironically is from Journal News: http://www.lohud.com/article/20130101/NEWS/301010084/Putnam-vows-withhold-gun-data?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

    To quote:
    Journal News President and Publisher Janet Hasson defended her publication Tuesday. “We believe the law is clear that this is public information and the residents of Putnam County are entitled to see it. We’re troubled that county officials have apparently switched their position since we first requested the information.”

    Told of Freeman’s determination, Ball, in a statement, said, “The county clerk has my full support to protect these law abiding citizens and if The Journal News thinks they can intimidate Putnam, they are sorely mistaken. Before I waver, the egghead editors at the Journal News can kiss my white, Irish behind.”

    -Long time reader first time poster. Thank you TTAG for keeping this fairly new law abiding firearm owner abreast of the current news!

  26. avatarRick says:

    As a City Administrator who will guard the citizens the privacy and personal information of my city like Mr. Sant has done the citizens of his county, I applaud his stance to protect their privacy and personal information. Well done Mr. Sant, may more city, county, state and national officials do their duty to their constituents and bosses.

  27. avatarLeo338 says:

    It’s good to know there are still some good people in office. We should not let this go unnoticed. We need to let people like him know we appreciate them standing up for what is right. Does anyone happen to know any type of contact info for this man? I would like to send him a letter and thank him. I encourage others to do the same.

    • avatarLeo338 says:

      Please forgive my previous post. There have been so many replies as of late I have not taken the time to read them. I noticed someone already posted his contact info.

  28. avatarZander says:

    I want to buy that clerk a beer.

  29. avatarSilver says:

    Good to see some people still have balls.

  30. avatarYawner says:

    Bravo! Strike one on a desperate, pathetic, attempt to profit on the endangerment of law abiding citizens.

  31. avatarMatt in FL says:

    I’m curious if he’s on the right side of the law in this. Does he have the legal right to refuse the FOIA request of public records?

    I’m not suggesting he’s morally wrong in doing so, but does he have legal standing? This could set him (and the county) up for a lawsuit.

    On the other hand, that may be an unintended but happy result. If you want to get a law before a court for a ruling, first someone has to disobey that law. You can’t file suit in a vacuum, there has to be an “injured party.” In this case, the injured party would be the newspaper, they could sue to force compliance, and that may lead to a judge ruling that the clerk does not have to fulfill a rabble-rousing FOIA request of this nature. Of course, it could go the other way, as well.

    My knowledge of the law is rudimentary at best, but perhaps someone with more knowledge could weigh in?

    • avatarEnsitu says:

      He should have a very solid case on several levels and his Politician Bosses can always order him to release the info, but how and when is an open question

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      If that does happen, I would hope that the judge rules against the newspaper on the grounds that the public interest does not trump the citizen’s expectation of privacy. Seems to me that there’s a pretty clear line between disclosing the identity and location of registered sex offenders (which is the parallel the newspaper is clearly trying to draw here) versus the personal information of law-abiding citizens.

  32. avatarirene says:

    Thank Mr Sent. We appreciate you!

  33. avatarNicole Katz says:

    Please “like” the page I just created to support Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant in his courageous stand against the Journal News’s reckless Witch Hunt of law abiding gun owners privacy.
    https://www.facebook.com/SupportPutnamCountysHeroClerkDennisSant

  34. avatarBonnie says:

    Good for you Mr. Sant…..We stand behind you 100%. Let’s see if the rest of Americans will stand with you . God bless you!

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