The San Francisco Chronicle has hit California county sheriffs with public records requests demanding lists of concealed carry permit holders. Sheriff Barnes of Sutter County not only declined to release the complete information, but issued a notice to licensees that Chronicle is attempting to obtain their data.
“I am deeply disturbed by how some sheriffs have handled a routine request for public information from a respected and established news outlet. As a result, they have put our journalists in personal danger for their own political gain.
“It is a journalist’s job to investigate trends, and we do not intend on publishing personal information of private citizens. Unfortunately, the sheriffs sought to play up distrust in media when it became clear that they cannot deny access to public information.”
“Play up.” As if that’s even necessary.
If they aren’t going to publish the information, why did the newspaper ask for it? How does revealing that the Chronicle was attempting to identify specific law-abiding firearm owners put anonymous reporters in any “personal danger“?
Why ever would law-abiding firearm owners be suspicious of a “respected and established news outlet” wanting the personal data of CCW licensees, Ms. Cooper? It isn’t as though papers have ever doxxed gun owners before.
The New York-based Journal News did just that. And it appears their map was used by burglars who were out to steal guns.
It was reported the burglars went straight for the safe that contained legally registered weapons but they abandoned the theft when they could not get the safe open. One person has been taken into custody.
More than once . . .
As the uproar continues over the wisdom of The Journal News posting an online, interactive map displaying the names, addresses and the locations of the homes of Westchester and Rockland County’s legal gun owners, a second law abiding gun owner’s home was robbed and more legally registered weapons were stolen.
I’m not a fan of doxxing political opponents, but if the Chronicle abuses the data they’re going after in a way close to what the Journal News did, I’m not going to cry if gun rights supporters dox them right back. Again.
I’ve contacted the Chronicle’s Ms. Cooper for an explanation as to how they intend to use the data they are demanding. She has not responded to the inquiry yet.