TELL US: Should Licensed Gun Owners' Information be Public?

If you are licensed to own a gun, would you want your name and address publicized?

A news publication in New York is under scrutiny for publishing the names and addresses of gun owners in certain parts of the state.  

Less than two weeks after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., the New York Journal News earlier this week published the names and addresses of local gun owners in three New York counties.  

A story titled, "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood," highlights the names and addresses of residents who are licensed to own handguns through Freedom of Information Law requests, according to The Huffington Post

The Journal News reportedly requested the information from New York's Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, though the publication was only able to obtain the names and addresses of those who have a license to own a handgun. 

The move has drawn considerable criticism from readers, some of whom claim the article has put those named in danger, as they could expose law enforcement officials who are licensed to own guns. 

What do you think? Should the Journal News have published that information if it is public? Or has this compromised the privacy and safety of those individuals who are licensed to own guns? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ajax December 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Great way for criminals to know who is NOT armed and where they live!
SM_bos December 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM
As usual, I've seen tons of bluster on both sides. - Publicizing this info (especially if it included rifles) does tell bad guys who is not armed, and potentially which homes contain valuable items to steal. (Guns are often worth $200-$1000 each). - But in the NY case, it was only those "licensed" to own "handguns". So no indication if the person actually owns a handgun, and no indication if they have a long gun. - It is public information, but my intuition tells me that in retrospect, it should not be they type of thing that is published. Too many risks. - The parents saying, "now I know where my kids WON'T go to play" sound a bit nutty. How about asking those parents how they secure any guns in the house? If locked in a safe or they don't even own one, what's the big deal? (There are under 50 fatalities/year in the US due to gun accidents < age 14, and that likely includes hunting) http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#accidents
Jay Groob December 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM
This is insanity! Where are all the privacy advocates now? For the paper to publish the names and addresses of good citizens is a travesty! What about law enforcement officers who happen to reside in the papers jurisdiction? I don’t think that they would be too pleased. It is ridiculous on so many levels and will do absolutely nothing to prevent the horrific tragedy we witnessed in Newtown
Thomas Mac December 27, 2012 at 01:37 PM
How about we publish the names and addresses of the sex offenders, lay-a-bouts, fake SSDI recipients, fake EBT recipients, those who sell their EBT/SNAP cards every month and claim it lost, drug dealers, wife beaters & gang bangers...... Then, we will be able to figure out who our good neighbors are. How bout that.
Just a person! December 27, 2012 at 02:01 PM
To let you know, There is a list already it called "registration" if you are a liscened gun owner then you are on the list, and also where you live. Officials are the only ones that should have that info, as was stated earlier then the criminals would know where and where not to go.. And also where to go to get a gun! The people that have to know, who own and have guns, know already! I do not believe that there should a public list. Thomas Mac ,good point.
Malu Mar December 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
No, such a list should not have been published. It provides study material for criminals, it puts non-gun owners in those areas at risk, it compromises the privacy and safety from break-ins of those who are licensed to own guns.
Michael Boznikoff December 27, 2012 at 02:46 PM
The names and addresses of gun owners should absolutely not be made public! You are not only telling the bad guys where the guns aren't but where they are. If I had a gun in the house, it was made public knowledge, and I shot the guy who accepted the invitation to come steal it, I wonder how many newspapers would be sued as a result. Not only by me for putting my family and myself in danger but by the family of the person I shot. You can also add to Mac's list the names of those who have DUI arrests and how many.
ann merritt December 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM
That's just what I was thinking. Identify the people who have Been arrested, convicted, paroled, the exact crimes. Would you let your child play at the home of a convicted pedophile? I probably wouldn't,, but I don't think we want to head down this path of publishing, highlighting everything about everyone. I don't like the publishing of info about law abiding citizens. We have access to info on crimes committed from local police blotters.
Bennington Brewster December 27, 2012 at 07:19 PM
also a great way for criminals to know where the can steal firearms when the owner is not home
Owen December 27, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Absolutely not. One could kill someone with a vehicle. Should our personal information be made public because we might be licsensed to drive? People need to stop letting irrational fear rule their lives.
SM_bos December 27, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Love the idea of publishing name/addresses of lost bet cards! But tO keep the discussion honest, the info was ALWAYS public. Just like your property records, birth/death cert, and probably your car registration info, too. Th only thing that changed this week I the paper took public info that use to require a trip to city hall and put it online. I agree it was dumb as everyone says. But part of the discussion has to do with our openness as a society. I'm aware of private info and public info. Maybe now we need a new category for "public but only if you work really hard to find it"?
Joseph December 27, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Law abiding, properly licensed gun owners should not be made public. I agree with the comments about thieves knowing where the guns are, and aren't. Mac's comments spot on. Why should I have to tell the public that I own a 18th century musket worth tens of thousands of dollars? I'm inviting someone into my house to rob me. Makes sense to me! Now...back to sharpening my spork.
Owen December 27, 2012 at 09:24 PM
If someone seeks out information through FOIA, and uses that information for personal reasons, than that is one thing. If that information is public record, then there's not much any one can do about that. However, if a media outlet uses that same information to publish a list of names to do what the media does best (stoke peoples' irrational fears), then that is absolutely wrong and unethical.
Keith Best December 28, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Why treat gun owners as criminals? Adama Lanza broke myriad gun laws as Connecticut has some of the strongest gun laws in the country. More laws is NOT the answer. Improvements in dealing with the mentally ill is. Blaming the guns is like blaming the fork and spoon for making Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell fat. Think about that.
Check Facts December 29, 2012 at 04:45 PM
We should all become licensed to possess as we are all entitled to be. Owning a gun is another matter. One's agreement to become licensed creates a public record which is afforded public access, so the publishing of such, while obnoxious, is within the law. In case people haven't noticed our right to bear arms of all sorts has become restricted, regulated and subject to licesure (all income earning situations for local counties, towns, states etc.) Do you know that ownership of a sling shot is illegal in Massachusetts as are Nim Chucks & pepper spray? Blades over a certain length are illegal. In some instances carrying a pocket knife with a 2.5 inch blade, as is a telescoping baton, are prohibited in public buildings and schools. It is our very right to defend ourselves in this progressively-becoming-a police-state-country that is at stake. It's not just guns, it's all manner of personal defense that is subject to laws and legislation because of outrageous offensive behaviour by true criminals and whack-jobs and a de-escalating civilization in AmeriKa. Guns don't kill, unwholesome people do. You have to ask yourselves, why so many sick people in society? Why so much violence in AmeriKa. It is the AmeriKan psyche that is the hostile weapon that has taken aim, and too often at the innocent. Fix AmeriKa with a fix to its humanity, not by creating new laws via legislation at the Federal and State levels. Invest in education, ending poverty and providing fairness for all.
Just a person! December 31, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Go baCk to the old days when everyone carried a gun,there would be less crime ,and less criminals. People would think twice about breaking into someone's house,robbing, and plain out committing crimes if they thought for a minute that the person they were assaulting ,robbing or any other act was going to be faced with a gun. Make it a level playing field.


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