As criticism grew, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was pushing for a new state gun control law, also in response to the Newtown massacre. He fast-tracked the legislation, saying it had to move quickly to prevent a buying spree of guns that would be outlawed.
When Ball and others insisted on the privacy provision, there was little opposition. One exception was Democrat Thomas Abinanti, who called it an assault on the First Amendment.
‘‘The only way to control government is to know what it’s doing,’’ Abinanti said. ‘‘Now we are going to make these gun permits secret.’’
Abinanti said Friday that ‘‘legislators and good-government groups and editorials are now waking up to what happened.’’ He said he expects the Legislature to consider a ‘‘cleanup amendment.’’
In the meantime, Freeman, from the Committee on Open Government, said the Journal News case offers a reminder to news organizations of what he called ‘‘the Aretha Franklin principle.’’ It’s based on the scene in ‘‘The Blues Brothers’’ movie where Franklin sings ‘‘You Better Think.’’
‘‘We have to think it through,’’ he said. ‘‘What are the ramifications of our potential actions?’’
Associated Press writers Michael Gormley in Albany, N.Y., and Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Miss., and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.