Names & Addresses of More Than 33,000 Gun Permit Holders Released
A New York paper has published the controversial: a detailed map of the location of the names of thousands of gun permit holders. ` The publication went forth with the map in the aftermath of the Connecticut massacre. The Journal News in Westchester County obtained the publicly available information from county clerks and published it earlier in the week in an article entitled “The Gun Owner Next Door.” Although the paper published the list as a matter of public safety, the net effects of the decision will be the exact opposite. As victims and individuals in the region noted, this list will notify criminals of which households carry arms and which do not, allowing them to maneuver their territories easier.
Having the names and addresses of more than 33,000 gun permit holders over two countries thanks to the Freedom of Information Act request, the paper published as a response to the recent shooting in Connecticut. ”We knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings,” said CynDee Royle, editor and vice president of the Journal News, a Gannett Publication.
“People are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them there are in their neighbourhoods,” she said. The newspaper had also asked for information about the type and number of weapons people owned, but the paper was unable to receive such information.
“You’re giving a shopping list to criminals,” the newspaper quoted Tom King, president of the New York Rifle & Pistol Association, as saying.
“Does it matter if you own 47 guns or you own one gun? Everybody likes to think that someone who has all of these guns is evil, that there’s some nefarious reason they have all these guns. There are collectors.”
The blowback from the publication was the publication of he papers editors and publishers home addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of the daily’s publisher and editors.
“Don’t you idiots realize you have just classified the law-abiding gun-owning citizen with sex offenders who have been released from prison?” wrote one user, identified as Sheila Gray. ”You also have told the street thugs where the armed homes are and where there are no guns.”