Using information gathered from Freedom of Information requests, a New York paper owned by Gannett published the names and addresses of legal handgun permit holders in two counties, Breitbart.com reported Monday.
“The newspaper didn’t even feel it necessary to publish a rationale for that violation of privacy – publishing the names and addresses of gun owners makes them more vulnerable to robbery when they aren’t at home, since criminals will know where the guns are,” Ben Shapiro wrote.
The Journal News then posted a map showing where the gun owners live.
“The map indicates the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Each dot represents an individual permit holder licensed to own a handgun — a pistol or revolver. The data does not include owners of long guns — rifles or shotguns — which can be purchased without a permit. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location owns a weapon, just that they are licensed to do so,” the Journal News said.
“Data for all permit categories, unrestricted carry, premises, business, employment, target and hunting, is included, but permit information is not available on an individual basis,” the publication added.
Reaction to the article was not good.
“How about a map of the editorial staff and publishers of Gannett and Journal News with names and addresses of their families,” one person said.
“This is CRAZY!! Why in the world would you post every licensed gun owner information?? What do you hope to accomplish by doing this. This is the type of thing you do for sex offenders not law abiding gun owners,” said another person.
“Now everyone knows where the LEGAL GUNS are kept, a valuable piece of information for criminals,” added another commenter.
“Anyone can find out the names and addresses of handgun owners in any county with a simple Freedom of Information Law request, and the state’s top public records expert told The Journal News last week that he thinks the law does not bar the release of other details,” Dwight R. Worley wrote.
“But officials in county clerk’s offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam maintain the public does not have a right to see such things as the specific permits an individual has been issued, the types of handguns a person possesses or the number of guns he or she owns — whether one or a dozen,” he added.
A post at AIM Global Security called the article an “invasion of privacy that does nothing to safeguard the law abiding from the criminal element.”
AIM encouraged readers to cancel their subscriptions with lohud.com and “let their advertisers know how you feel about it.”
“This is the power of the 1st Amendment in your hands that empowers you to preserve the safeguard afforded us by the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights,” AIM said.
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