NY gun owners map has Greenville gun owners talking - FOX Carolina 21

NY gun owners map has Greenville gun owners talking

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A gun owner takes aim at a target at a Greenville gun range. (Dec. 26, 2012/FOX Carolina) A gun owner takes aim at a target at a Greenville gun range. (Dec. 26, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Would you care if your neighbors owned guns? And would you want to know if they did?

A newspaper in New York compiled a database for folks in two counties outside of New York City that shows exactly which homes have permits for guns.

The database is on the Journal News website. The suburban New York newspaper created an interactive map showing Westchester and Rockland counties. The dots represent homes of every handgun permit owner in the area. Not all the homes actually have guns there, and it's only for handguns, because in New York a permit isn't required for long guns.

The paper said it got the data by filing a Freedom of Information request to clerks of those counties. The information is public record.

Many commenters to the article were upset that responsible gun owners are being called out. Gun owners at Sharp Shooters Gun Club and Range in Greenville didn't seem to mind.

"It's different in New York than it is in South Carolina. They're mostly anti-gun up there and we're pro-gun down here. So, I could care less if my neighbors knew it," said co-owner, Sam Clark.

Clark is former law enforcement and a concealed weapons class teacher. He said it is best not to tell people if you're carrying, but mostly for convenience purposes, so fewer questions will be asked by passers-by.

A big concern expressed in New York is if the database will make it easier for burglars to know where there aren't guns or letting burglars know where to steal them.

Clark said in South Carolina having a gun should deter criminals because people aren't afraid to use them.

When it comes to journalistic ethics the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists, weighed in on the database debate.

A senior faculty member, Al Thompkins, called the publishing of all the names and addresses, "journalistic arrogance." He said there is no reason for it and if anything, it "just encourages gun owners to skip the permitting."

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