In late December 2012, the Journal News published names and addresses of legal gun owners in 2 New York counties. The paper obtained the list via a Freedom of Information request (FOIA), compiled the data and published an article entitled, ‘The Gun Owner Next Door’ complete with interactive maps in the online version of the piece. (Link intentionally left out so as not to provide the Journal News with more hits)
Gun owners immediately voiced their concerns saying that publishing such a list unfairly infringes on their privacy and gives criminals a literal road map of homes to attack and which to avoid.
The gun owners may have been correct.
Police are investigating a burglary in White Plains, NY in which the victim’s legally owned weapons may have been the target. The home was on the Journal News gun map.
One lawmaker is outraged by the event and is blaming the paper for the burglary.
State Senator Greg Ball released a harshly worded statement as news of the crime surfaced over the weekend.
“The Journal News has placed the lives of these folks at risk by creating a virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs. If the connection is proven, this is further proof that these maps are not only an invasion of privacy, but they present a clear and present danger to law-abiding, private citizens. Former convicts have already testified to the usefulness of the asinine Journal News ‘gun maps’ yet the reckless editors are evidently willing to roll the dice, gambling with the lives of innocent local homeowners.”
The 72 year old victim of the burglary was not home at the time of the robbery and the accused were unable to open the gun safe. One person is in custody.
In retaliation of the Journal News’ list, the NRA published a list of their own. Read here.
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