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Thursday
Dec272012

Cool or Not Cool: Publishing the Names and Addresses of People With Gun Permits?

Following the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT and the recent cold-hearted shooting of two volunteer fire fighters upstate on Monday, folks in this country are all fired up about gun control. Sane people think we need to do more to make owning and using fire arms more difficult. Crazy people think we need to arm everyone even further because clearly, we as a nation need to solve the problem of guns with guns. Others are finding some unconventional ways to call out gun owners, like the lower Hudson Valley's paper, The Journal News. 

According to Gawker, the small newspaper has published the names and addresses of all those who have gun permits in both Rockland and Westchester counties. Not only that, they created an interactive map that shows exactly where each of those permit holders live. And according to the Freedom of Information Act, it's completely legal. 

Dwight R. Worley, The Journal News reporter, explained how this is possible: 

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. 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.

While some think this is a great way to let the people know who in their towns and neighborhoods are packing heat, there are others who think this is clearly an invasion of peoples' property. The Journal New's own readership expressed criticism for running the article saying, "So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are?" Another gentleman took to Facebook, saying, "Nice work idiots. Now you've made every non-gun owner a sitting target for criminals."

ABC news also reported that someone has gone ahead and published the name and home address of the Journal News's publisher. 

What are your thoughts, FiPSTERS? An invasion of privacy or an important precaution? Sound off. 

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