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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.

Ed Batchelder December 27, 2012 at 05:18 PM
No way! What a terrible idea. Putting aside the 2nd amendment, which in my opinion, has very little to do with this particular situation, this idea is terrible. Good points made from those above. Owning guns, whether one likes it or not, is legal (my only bone of contention is that there be restrictions on the kinds of guns we allow and make illegal). Since its legal to own, listing the names of owners serves what purpose? No one has broken any laws by buying one so what would be the benefit to requiring someone to list their name and address, like, as someone pointed out, a sex offender has to? Not sure how that is supposed to curb gun related violence. Second, isn't providing that information only giving people who are looking for a reason to break into your home a reason to break into your home?! Absolutely stupid idea.
Ed Batchelder December 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
And the chances of someone breaking in to your house just got multiplied by telling them that you own a gun. BTW... that bravado you wave about is assuming the person that breaks in doesn't already have a gun as well. Owning a gun is no guarantee you still won't die from a trespasser, especially one who is there specifically to STEAL YOUR GUN.
Wendy Wagner December 27, 2012 at 05:37 PM
A similar question: Do parents have the right to know whether their child's friend's parents have a gun in the house before they send their child over for a playdate?
Avon Barksdale December 27, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Guns should be legalized and taxed for revenue, regardless of how many people get high off them in their own homes.
Trish Monahan December 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I would say yes, Wendy. It's just one question that could be asked when deciding where playdates are held. I would suggest that a phone call to the parents would be a more appropriate way of finding out than having to go to public records. If someone is comfortable enough to leave their child in someone's care, they would be comfortable enough to ask if there are guns in the home.
OK98765 December 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I wonder if the brightstick that put it in the paper realizes he may have a hand in either someone stealing a gun and raping or murdering someone but also it can be used to see who makes a good target for a home invasion because most likely those Not listed have no handgun. Real smart thinking of those involved in that paper. When someone gets raped or murdered you can look into the mirror all proud of yourself and smile saying, " I had a hand in that."
deb of see-attleboro December 27, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Just goes to prove "the pen is mightier than the sword". Terrorism, methinks?
deb of see-attleboro December 27, 2012 at 05:54 PM
For peace of mind, have all your play dates at your own home.
sean65 December 27, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Would the people who published this information also publish the location and addresses of people who have a mental health history or are on medication to control their behavior? I bet not. The implication here is that gun ownership is something to be feared, something to revile, and something that must be seen as socially destructive. The opposite is true. The information should not have been published as a means to embarrass gun owners or to put those citizens in harm's way.
Ed Batchelder December 27, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Deb... If everyone had play dates at their own home, then wouldn't that mean that no one's children would attend the play date at your home if they shared that same approach? In that case, we would have no play dates. Not sure how that is a resolution to the problem.
deb of see-attleboro December 27, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I was being sarcastic, Ed. If a parent has concerns, guns or no guns, they should entertain at their own home.
Avon Barksdale December 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Know how you know which house to rob? In my hometown we have the handy-dandy trash barrels that are issued by the town and collected by the robot arm truck. You can opt out of the huge barrel and get two smaller-sized ones. Having a small barrel out in front of your house on trash day announces to the world "OLD FRAIL PEOPLE LIVE HERE - WE CAN'T EVEN MOVE A ROLLING TRASH BARREL MUCH LESS STOP YOUR HOME INVASION."
Dave Abbott December 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM
"Would the people who published this information also publish the location and addresses of people who have a mental health history or are on medication to control their behavior?" Bingo.
BH December 27, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Guns are legal and taxed during sale in Mass.... Regularly taxing amendment rights or what objects they specifically carry in their verbiage is scary to me.
yerkillinme December 27, 2012 at 09:27 PM
sean65 asks: "Would the people who published this information also publish the location and addresses of people who have a mental health history or are on medication to control their behavior?" Why stop there? Why not also publish names of people who consume alcohol or tobacco? After all, we have the right to know if our kids are going there, right?
paul December 27, 2012 at 11:13 PM
The hours that people are at work or on vacation for a week should also be posted.
Ken B. December 28, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Sure, give this cesspit of a state government that can't tell the difference between level 1 and level 3 sex offenders, qualified vs. totally disqualified public safety department honchos, and clean vs. filthy compounding labs, the right to publish the list of gun owners' and their addresses. They'll probably publish a list of those who DON'T own a gun. Result ? More B&Es, assaults, arrests and so on. More clients for the lawyer pols and their hack buddies in the judicial system. Follow the money !!!
Avon Barksdale December 28, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Yes, because you're frustrated with how state elections turn out around here, we should not consider government taking a role in anything. I see your point. Oh, and yes, publishing addresses of gun owners would definitely result in additional violence given all the evidence you've presented demonstrating that would happen. I see your point.
Ken B. December 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM
How are things in mom's basement today, Avon ? Appears that you were up trolling past your bedtime last night, little guy.
Sharon December 28, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I recall seeing a list of NYC permit holders published a year or two ago. On that list I recognized some people I know, who are ranking officers in NYPD. I'm sure that there are rape, domestic violence, etc. victims on these lists who are intentionally trying to hide from their attackers. So publishing the info gives them the opportunity to be victimized again, perhaps killed . . . all to serve a political purpose of outing legal gun owners? It also provides a map for thieves who are looking to score some guns for further crimes or quick drug money. It's apparently public info in NY, but that doesn't make it smart to publish it however. Journalistic integrity has been in the toilet for a very long time and this is a prime example (and it is not really about guns here).
Just Me! December 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM
No matter what the situation..a responsible gun owner will follow the rules.. keep all guns locked up in a safe with trigger locks on them and keep the ammo separate from the firearm. They will not keep a loaded gun in view of children..not tell children about it until they are old enough.....and certainly not keep a firearm where I child can get at it......
Just Me! December 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM
sounds like what should be done with weed...lol
Louis Aggasiz December 28, 2012 at 02:28 PM
All these posts reflect the mistaken notion that the individual has importance.. It is the State that must come first before party, friends and family. And of course gun owners shoulkd be exposed. They are a threat to the state. Confiscation of all firearms and a stint in a political re-education camp would be the best thing for them and for public safety.
Uncle Crackhead December 28, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Eye's needs to know who gots the guns so when i break their house i no get shot.
Avon Barksdale December 28, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Ah yes, my mom's basement. I see your point.
Avon Barksdale December 28, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Crime has been dropping in NYC for many years now, particularly violent crime. Major crimes are at a historic low in the city. So much for the idea that publishing the names and addresses of gun owners will cause a spike in crime. I'm not in favor of publishing the names of gun owners, but this idea that criminals will be scanning the lists and mayhem will ensue ... it's pretty childish and naive.
John bouchard December 28, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Definitely not ! It's a double edged broadcast to the public those who have and those who don't, either way you know the perps will get the info why make it easier for them ?
John bouchard December 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Avon ! taxes, taxes, taxes when do we start using a budget and hold back on the free giveaways ?
Ken B. December 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM
State before the people ? "Confiscation of all firearms and a stint in a political re-education camp...." Wow.
Artboro December 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM
So if my information is to be posted. The local and state police officers addresses with be public also?

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