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IPFS News Link • Gun Rights

The Unintended Consequences of the Journal News’s Gun-Owner Map

• Last Resistance

As most people know about by now, The Journal News, a small newspaper in New York, recently published an online map that pinpointed the addresses and the names of every owner of a handgun permit in Westchester and Rockland Counties.

The most immediate intent of the map, as indicated by the heading “The Gun Owner Next Door: What You Don’t Know About the Weapons in Your Neighborhood,” was to let those without gun permits know who had guns.

Beyond that, it is unclear what the paper hoped to accomplish. Were they hoping that the people living at the 33,614 marked addressed would receive intimidating threats from their neighbors? Were they hoping that the publication of their addresses would encourage them to get rid of their guns; to turn them in to the government, perhaps?

According to ex-convicts, the publication of the map would have made their jobs much easier back in their days of crime.

Walter T. Shaw, whom the FBI pegged for the break-in and robbery of over 3,000 homes in his life, said of the map, “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold. Why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?”