What is at stake in publishing public records such as gun permits

From Standard-Examiner, this opinion piece from Gene Policinski at the First Amendment Center:

Plenty of folks went a’ gunning verbally for the editors of the New York state newspaper that last month published the names and addresses of local pistol-permit holders.

The nationwide flap over the special report has caused a deluge of negative emails, delivery of least one packet of suspicious powder and — in what many gleefully noted — led the newspaper to position armed security guards at its headquarters building.

Of course, The Journal News, in Rockland County, N.Y., had a First Amendment right to post publicly the detailed public records. Likewise, readers and others around the nation have a right to criticize the decision, in the most severe terms.