A gossip site has taken the controversial decision to post the name of every licensed gun owner in New York City online as the debate over gun control rages on.
Gawker posted the list of names, which is already publicly available, today. It follows the move by the Journal News to publish home addresses of gun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland counties last month.
The list was highlighted in the midst of heated debates over gun laws following the Sandy Hook massacre in December where 20 schoolchildren and six teachers were shot dead.
The 446-page document is readily available from the NYPD with a Freedom of Information Law request – but contains only the names of gun owners and not addresses.
Some 1.2 million New Yorkers are licensed to own handguns – and the addresses of 300,000 of these individuals have been online since 2010.
An hour after the list was published on Gawker, the site reported that it had received death threats.
One caller said ‘You’re f****** dead’ while another told a female employee that she better have protection when she left her workplace. The site had contacted police about the threats.
Hundreds of comments were posted about the article and whether the decision to once again bring attention to gun permit holders was necessary.
Referring to the earlier piece in the Journal News, one commenter wrote: ‘The journal posted my address and name for my gun ownership. My past stalker saw this. I haven’t heard from him in two years, because I disappeared.
‘Now he is back and calling me……thanks to people like you bunch of a*******, looks like I will have to protect myself from becoming a murder victim. Gracias.’
Another post read: ‘Don’t really understand the negative replies to this. It’s public information that apparently the majority of New Yorkers didn’t know was available that EVERY person who signed up for the permit knew was public info.
‘Unless we’re all going on the premise that if people know you own a gun you are less safe. Which if true pretty much defeats the entire non-sporting reason for owning one, doesn’t it?’
After publishing the names and addresses of gun permit owners in the upstate counties of Rockland and Westchester last month, the Journal News was forced to hire a team of armed guards to patrol its headquarters in West Nyack.
The paper caused a stir on December 23 with an interactive map on its website of pistol permit holders.
Journal News editor Caryn A. McBride hired security guards to patrol the paper’s offices amid a flurry of angry emails and phone calls in the following days.
Rob Seubert of Silver Spring, Maryland, posted on the newspaper’s web site: ‘Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves? What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are.’
Some critics retaliated by posting reporters’ and editors’ addresses and other personal information online.
Source: The Daily Mail