Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: January 17th, 2013
Should the names of gun owners be disclosed?

Legislators in New York state and the governor think not. The state law that passed this week will prohibit the disclosure of gun owners names, which has sparked some debate about freedom of information as well as the public’s right to know.

According to, “In response to a controversy that erupted after The Journal News, a daily newspaper, published the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland (New York) Counties, the legislation would prohibit disclosure of the names in the new statewide gun-registration database, and would allow individuals to exempt their own names and addresses from being disclosed by counties that have such databases.”

The Poynter Institute is a journalism school and the website acts as a sort of journalism think tank. The decision by The Journal News to create a database that published the names and addresses of handgun owners has been criticized not only by the public, some politicians and the gun owners themselves, but by other newspapers and the Poynter Institute as well.

But should it have resulted in the caveat in the legislation to keep handgun ownership secret?

Some say as long as it doesn’t jeopardize law enforcement efforts and safety. Others say the change is taking New York down a slippery slope that won’t end with gun owners.

Posted in: Uncategorized

3 comments on “Should the names of gun owners be disclosed?

  1. Are you kidding me? Why don’t you just publish the address along with the names of all those who can legally own guns to make it that much easier for felons and those who cannot legally purchase a gun so they can break into their homes and steal theirs!? And with limited supplied magazines, give them more of an opportunity to kill those who follow and obey the law. More people die in vehicle and automobile related accidents each year. Does that mean we should ban automobiles also? Grow up America! It amazes me to hear the stories about these people who committed these crimes AFTER they have committed the crimes. People need to speak up! If you know someone needs help, do the right thing and report it! Otherwise your just as guilty as the person committing the crime and you have no place talking about it afterwards!

  2. Joan Butler on said:

    Absolutely not! That puts the lives and safety of those people in jeopardy. As for the public right to know and freedom of information, neither are applicable. This is private information, and no one has the right to disclose it except the person it belongs to. They have obeyed the law by registering their guns, and unless there is a crime involved it must stop there. CRIMINALS do not obey the law and cannot be controlled!

  3. Thomasina on said:

    Women have a right to defend themselves … increasing numbers of women today are licensed to carry … violent crimes perpetrated by women have not risen as a result … but now the sheeple want to victimize them yet again in the name of safety … whose saftey?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Switch to our mobile site