By Jack Minor –
Supporters of the Second Amendment who have longed complained that universal background checks would simply provide a list of firearms owners in the event of gun confiscation received a little more ammo for their cause when it was revealed that a major media conglomerate is considering building its own national database of gun owners.
The Daily Caller reported that Civitas Media, which owns over 100 total publications which includes 88 newspapers in 12 states is planning on taking advantage of public records laws to obtain the names of those who have concealed carry permits.
The information comes from an internal email, which says they are working on a pair of projects, one of which is the “creeping influence of heroin in our communities” while the other involves finding out the names of gun owners with the permits.
“The second project examines the explosion of ‘concealed and carry’ gun permits across the U.S. Through public records act requests, we will attempt to build state-by state databases that list those who have the right to carry a concealed firearm,” the email said.
The leaked email has raised the ire of gun owners who note that the only purpose for these lists are to harass law-abiding gun owners and that the lists should be kept confidential and used for law-enforcement purposes only.
Buckeye Firearms Association, a Second Amendment organization in Ohio contacted several Civitas owned newspapers about the email. While they acknowledged its existence, BFA said no one was willing to comment on the record about its contents.
In response to pressure, Jim Lawitz, Civitas Media director of content, who sent out the email told BFA that “we have no plans to publish any names on any lists.”
However, Lawitz would not comment on whether the company plans to gather the information, which would include names.
Gun owners are understandably concerned about the compilation of any type of database whether it be by the government or outside groups.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, The Journal News, a newspaper in White Plains, N.Y., owned by another media giant, Gannett, published an interactive map with the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties, regardless of the safety concerns of the permit holders.
One permit holder later reported that within a few days of the list being up their house was broken into and several firearms were stolen.
Ironically, while the Journal News had no problem publishing the list, citing its First Amendment right, it objected to readers posting the names and addresses of its staffers.