Local Newspaper Posts Interactive Map of Gun Owners

Invasion of privacy or protecting the public?

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Complex Original

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The gruesome mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has sparked national conversations about stricter gun control. The Journal News, a newspaper serving Westchester and Rockland, New York, has taken measures into its own hands by publishing the names and addresses of local gun owners.

The paper was able to retrieve information about residents from Westchester, Rockland and Putnam county thanks to the Freedom of Information Law. In the piece titled "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood," the Journal News published names and addresses of licensed gun holders from the aforementioned neighborhoods. The amount and type of weapons owned were also requested by the paper but that information was withheld.

Additionally, the online article featured an interactive map of those licensed gun holders.

The Journal News is receiving extensive criticism for the article. The paper posted the article as a safety measure of sorts for local residents, but some touched on the negative effects of making this information public—like, allowing criminals to target houses without legal firearms. 

In a statement to ABC News regarding the article, The Journal News said its readers "are understandably interested to know about guns in their neighborhoods," after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Check out the map here

[via Huffington Post]

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