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