NEW YORK (NBC) -- New York newspaper The Journal News is responding to massive criticism after publishing the addresses of gun permit owners in two counties.

The information published in the article isn't anything secret, but the data spread like wildfire on social media, sparking thousands of angry complaints.

To create the map, The Journal News submitted Freedom of Information requests for the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. By New York state law, the information is considered public record.

The map came about in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, CT, The Journal News said.