Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gun permits and public information

The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper based in Westchester County, New York, last week posted a map of all gun permit holders in the area.The newspaper later had to hire armed security guards for protection.

While the map and related article were shared widely on social media, according to a New York Times blog post, the newspaper received some serious backlash from readers for publishing names, addresses and home phone numbers of seemingly law-abiding citizens.

In Connecticut, the names and addresses of people issued gun permits are confidential under state statute, so the records are not available under FOI. And it has been so since a special legislative session in the summer of 1994, when legislators had to give in to the pro-gun lobbyists in order to get some other things passed, like making it harder for convicted felons to own a gun.

But a state rep. from West Haven is arguing that this information should be made public in Connecticut, and he is taking some heat for it.

What's your take? Should people be able to find out who owns guns just like they can know who is a registered sex offender? Would it make you feel safer/less safe if you knew your neighbor owned a gun?


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