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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.'”


  1. avatar Woodekt says:

    Newspapers…… A desperate and dying breed.

  2. avatar dirk 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. avatar jwm says:

    Good on you Mr. Sant.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      i think his name should be spelled “Saint”, not Sant

  4. avatar In Memphis says:

    +1 for the responsible accountable people left in politics

    1. avatar Sanchanim says:

      I have to agree finally some common sense!

      1. avatar S.CROCK says:

        its not just having common sense. he had the guts to say “no!” to many people cave into wrong things because they are to scared to take any heat.

  5. avatar JSIII 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.

    1. avatar BLAMMO 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.

    2. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

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

    3. avatar Ensitu says:

      Ganet Publishing owns them and many Left Wing Rags

  6. avatar m.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. avatar Ross says:

    Mr. Sant, your a Saint.

  8. avatar Pascal says:

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

    1. avatar LSUTigersFan 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?

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

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

  9. avatar Anmut 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.”

    1. avatar dirk 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. avatar Anmut says:

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

    [email protected]

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      Thanks for the link to contact him. I just sent him a warm thank you for what he did.

    2. avatar Rambeast says:

      Email sent. This guy has my respect for thinking ahead instead of treating this as business as usual.

    3. avatar DisThunder says:

      I sent one as well. It’s just as important to support the good decisions made by our public officials as it is to tear apart the bad ones. I wish him well, and I hope that he didn’t have to put his career on the line to stand up for what’s right.

    4. avatar Martin 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

  11. avatar Sanchanim 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.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      ^ This ^

    2. avatar Soccerchainsaw 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”.

      1. avatar MarcusAurelius 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. avatar sm424 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. avatar John Barlow says:

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

    1. avatar Martin 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

  14. avatar Cameron 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. avatar Greg says:

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

  16. avatar Ropingdown says:

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

  17. avatar Peter says:

    Buy that man a beer!

  18. avatar Greg 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.

    1. avatar Martin 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. avatar Aharon says:

    Thank you Mr. Sant!

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

  20. avatar Lance says:

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

  21. avatar Wiebelhaus says:

    A real man, thank you.

  22. avatar Sammy says:

    Definitely a stand up guy.

  23. avatar Cold 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. avatar Dru says:

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

    1. avatar Casey T says:

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

    2. avatar Ropingdown 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.

    3. avatar tdiinva 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.

    4. avatar Dru 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.”

      1. avatar Dyspeptic 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.

        1. avatar Drus 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. avatar mymc says:

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

    Source, ironically is from Journal News:|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. avatar Rick 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. avatar Leo338 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.

    1. avatar Leo338 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. avatar Zander says:

    I want to buy that clerk a beer.

  29. avatar Silver says:

    Good to see some people still have balls.

  30. avatar Yawner says:

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

  31. avatar Matt 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?

    1. avatar Ensitu 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

    2. avatar AlphaGeek 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. avatar irene says:

    Thank Mr Sent. We appreciate you!

  33. avatar Nicole 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.

  34. avatar Bonnie 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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