Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Do You Own A Firearm? We Know Who You Are, And Will Make Sure Everyone Else Does As Well

A New York newspaper has gone to the effort to map out and publish online – complete with names and addresses – all the people in its area who own handgun permits.

The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., has created interactive, online maps of all handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties, while it’s also waiting on information from Putnam County.

The newspaper boasts it was able to obtain the names and addresses through a Freedom of Information request, for New York state law makes permit holders’ information public record.

The interactive maps not only give an overall picture of the distribution of handgun permits, but can also be zoomed in upon, revealing the name and address of those licensed to own a handgun, be it pistol or revolver.
Presumably, a person familiar with an area could also use the maps to obtain locations of homes where the owner doesn’t have a handgun permit.

Jeff Knox, director of The Firearms Coalition, called the newspaper’s action “an outrageous invasion of privacy and a highly irresponsible action.”

“People choose to own handguns for a variety of reasons, personal defense being the most common,” Knox told WND. “How many victims of domestic violence, armed to protect themselves from an abusive spouse or boyfriend, were jeopardized by releasing this information? How many vulnerable seniors were placed at-risk by revealing the fact that they own guns?

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A gun in the home is a last line of defense against violent criminals,” Knox continued. “Publicizing the existence of the gun in a particular home can have a potentially deadly impact. Guns are highly desirable targets of thieves, and we can expect that some of the people on this list will have their homes burglarized within the next 12 months.”

Response to the online article, judging by its comments section, has likewise been overwhelmingly negative.

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