It appears the the gun control advocates are pulling out the big guns to intimidate gun owners in the Westchester and Rockland county areas of New York in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. On Monday, The Journal News published the names and addresses of all gun permit holders in these areas.
According to The Journal News:
In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and amid renewed nationwide calls for stronger gun control, some Lower Hudson Valley residents would like lawmakers to expand the amount of information the public can find out about gun owners. About 44,000 people in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam — one out of every 23 adults — are licensed to own a handgun.
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.
So what’s the harm? Well the harm is first of all the publication just let every criminal in those areas know who has weapons and who does not. I would say this is far more dangerous for those without them than for those that have them. After all, if you are a criminal, and looking to rob a home, you would obviously want to make sure that you were robbing one where the owner doesn’t have a gun. In the case that you wanted to get a gun in a robbery, you would plan accordingly using the information.
While the news report claims that anyone can obtain the information with a Freedom of Information Law request, local official s in the clerk’s officers in these counties say the public does not have a right to see the kinds of permits an individual has been issued nor the types of weapons they possess.
I agree. It is no one’s business what I have in my home that I legally possess under the law. They gave no rationale for the dissemination of the information. Apparently it was simply because they could and that they are attempting to intimidate gun owners. The question I have is, should those without weapons or even those who do have them be targeted by criminals and it be made known that the criminals targeted these individuals due to the information they received from The Journal News, can the victims of their crimes then hold The Journal News responsible, including Dwight R. Worley who wrote the article and provided a link to the published information?