Skip to comments.Gun Owners Have a Right to Privacy
Posted on 04/08/2011 7:14:23 AM PDT by marktwain
If you own a gun in Illinois, take precautions. The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where they are not.
New York City released its list recently at The New York Times' request. It included "dozens of boldface names and public figures: prominent business leaders, elected officials, celebrities, journalists, judges and lawyers," the Times reported. It then named names.
People who want the lists made public say the disclosure is necessary to assure that government doesn't issue permits to felons. They point to an AP report that gun permits were given to hundreds of felons in Florida, Tennessee and Indiana. So because government is not competent enough to obey its own rules, the rest of us must have our privacy compromised? I don't buy it.
As Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says: "There is no legitimate reason for anyone to have access to the information. The safety of real people is at stake here. Once this information is released, it will be distributed to street gangs and gun-control groups, who will use the data to target gun owners for crime and harassment."
Good point. One nice thing about concealed weapons is that even people who don't carry guns are safer because the muggers can't tell who is armed and who isn't. Releasing the list of permit-holders undermines that benefit. It's not unusual for a woman who has been threatened by an ex-husband or boyfriend to obtain a gun and a carry permit for self-protection. Why should the threatening male get to find out if the woman is armed?
The anti-gun lobby downplays this danger as though it were inconceivable that someone would get names off a list in order to commit violence. However, we know of cases where people named on sex-offender registries were murdered.
We also know that lawful gun owners in New Orleans had their guns confiscated by government authorities after Hurricane Katrina.
No one should be soothed by assurances that publication of those lists poses no threat to law-abiding gun owners.
Let's take this a step further. This issue is presented as one of those balancing acts: The privacy of lawful gun owners, we're told, must be balanced by the people's "right to know" and the need to hold government accountable. But the only reason that governments have lists of gun owners is that they require licenses or concealed-carry permits. The right to self-defense, and therefore the right to buy and carry a handgun (the most effective means of self-defense), should require no one's permission. It is a natural right. The Second Amendment didn't invent the right to own guns. It merely recognizes it: "(T)he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It doesn't say, "The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms."
Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont recognize this right and require no permits to carry guns. (Montana also has this policy in all but a few urban areas.)
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, while striking down outright bans on handguns, left room for permits. But it's hard to see how that is consistent with the natural right of self-defense.
I leave aside whether a felon who has served his sentence should be deprived of the means of self-defense because there's a more practical point: Gun laws have no effect on people who plan to break other, more serious laws. Guns are the tools of the criminal trade. If people in that business can't get them legally, they'll get them in the black market. And where there is prohibition, there will always be a black market.
The law of supply and demand is as reliable as the law of gravity.
I say we reject the premise that the state can legitimately exercise this power at all. What would Thomas Jefferson have said about gun permits?
"The right to self-defense, and therefore the right to buy and carry a handgun (the most effective means of self-defense), should require no one's permission. It is a natural right."
I don’t get this movement by the libs to print the gun owners’ names. Who wants to be the only one in a neighborhood whose name’s not on that list? I think gun sales will triple. Bring it on, fools!
Yes, please print my name and address—I’ll be happy to greet the felons at the door. LOL
It’s a sick and cynical attempt at intimidation of gun owners. Typically they provide exceptions for holders of protection orders (TRO’s) but sometimes even they get swept up in the foolishness.
I think that this is a misreading of 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendment rights. Just because it is a “public” database, it doesn’t necessarily follow that anyone has a right to disseminate personal information - especially on such grand scales or for such nefarious purposes.
You may be right and it would be funny if gun haters were the only victims. But they are so brain dead that they would blame the crime on the gun, just like they do now. And it would require you to take all you guns (you do have more than one, right?) with you every time you left your house, or you can be sure they’d be gone when you returned.
There is no more right for our names and addresses to be printed because we own guns than if they were printed because we have other valuables, or even legal drugs. Imagine if the pharmacy were required to report and have printed in a newspaper the name and address of everyone who is on a controlled medication. Controlled drugs can be as deadly as guns if not handled correctly. Talk about making people targets!
“I dont get this movement by the libs to print the gun owners names.”
If you consider that at least 75 percent of the criminal element in this country leans Left it does it make complete sense that this Leftist state attorney general would want to publish such a list in order to protect her fellow Leftist thugs.
If the Left in this country rise up suddenly take out any dissenters the first people they’ll go after are those that are armed. If a list is published it makes it that much easier for them to do so.
America is waking up to the agenda of the Left and are starting to fight back. Once the Left gets cornered they are going to get violent beyond most people can imagine.
I see a possibility, here. It has to do with how someone’s name is *removed* from the list.
Say someone with a FOID (firearms owner ID) sells a gun to another person with an FOID. There is a good likelihood that both of them will be listed, for the duration of their FOID, as owning the same gun.
FOID cards last 10 years. Each card costs $10.
So the way to mess up the system would be to set up “round robin” gun sales, with the idea of having many people signed up as the owner of a single gun.
This would do much to complicate the State’s effort to single out gun owners for abuse or crime.
The state doesn't know which guns, if any, are owned by anyone with a FOID card.
California, take note and list me. Please.
These people are clueless. Absolutely just plain as* stupid. They actually believe that "gun thieves" are going to target a home known to possess weapons so they can steal them? Occasionally with people they know, but most guns are stolen during simple burglaries. Again, LIST ME! Sorry liberal neighbors, you would be the target. Too bad - so sad.
Bad guys can read and will study these lists when going out to rob houses or target individuals who are likely to have bought firearms for protection through legal purchase.
Example, residences of those involved in funerals and weddings are often targeted by robbers on the date of the event. Robbers read the newspaper listings for funerals and weddings. It’s prudent to have a person not attending the event stay in the residence to ward off these robbers.