Gun Database Ignites Debate in Tennessee


Staff member
A Memphis newspaper has posted a searchable database of Tennesseans with permits to carry concealed handguns, upsetting firearm owners and igniting a debate on whether such information should be publicly available.

Gun owners say the database is an invasion of privacy and makes permit holders easy targets for burglaries. They have flooded the newspaper with complaints — some 600 e-mail messages a day — and threatened staff members and posted personal information about newspaper employees.

The newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, added the database to its Web site in December. The database did not draw attention, though, until an early February article about an argument over a parking spot that ended with a motorist shot dead.

The editor, Chris Peck, said the paper added the database because newspapers should be a thorough source for community information. Mr. Peck pointed to the recent shooting as proof of why the database is valuable to readers.

After the shooting, a reader posted an online comment asking whether the suspect charged with murder had a permit to carry a gun. The newspaper responded by directing readers to its database.

“When that gun comes out in public, the citizens of Tennessee have a right to know,” Mr. Peck said.

The database allows people to search for those who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon by name, ZIP code or city. Mr. Peck said it is the most viewed item on the newspaper’s Web site, with more than 65,000 page views per day.

“We haven’t done anything illegal or unethical,” Mr. Peck said, adding the paper had no plans to remove the database.

The database has widened the rift between First and Second Amendment proponents.

The executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, calls the database a “hateful, shameful form of public irresponsibility and the collapse of responsible media.”

“Normal people don’t get up in the morning and say, ‘I wonder if my doctor, lawyer or my kid’s teacher has a concealed carry gun permit?’ ” Mr. LaPierre said. “A normal person wouldn’t say, ‘My right to information is more important than someone’s fear and safety.’ ”

Tennessee is one of 19 states that allow the public to have access to gun permit information, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. At least 21 states keep such information confidential.

A bill before the Arkansas Legislature would close to public view that state’s list of concealed weapon license holders.

The remaining states have no laws or court decisions that address the matter. Wisconsin does not allow people to carry concealed weapons.

Florida, Ohio and Texas have passed laws in recent years to remove or restrict concealed-weapon information from the public domain.

Source: NYTimes

After reading this morning's editorial page and PARTICULARLY the main cartoon concerning an out-of-control CC carrier with "a history of mental health problems" blasting away at someone for stepping on his cat's tail, I cancelled my subscription.

I told them that I did not appreciate being labeled a target for burglary or discrimination and was switching my reading to USA Today. The woman I talked to indicated that I was not the first person to call concerning the cartoon, she had seen it herself and fully understood my reaction.

I urge Memphis residents to cancel their subscription and push the legislature concerning the permit holders privacy bill.
I emailed the editor and told him that if they list permit holders, it's only fair to make a list of non-permit holders. Which list do you think the average criminal looking for easy score will be interested in? Fair is fair. These anti's are real vocal when they are anonymous. So far I haven't seen a single one of them proudly and publicly taking a stand on their position. Idiot politicians don't count because...well...they are idiots. Lets see how they feel when any criminal can look them up on an official "Unarmed Victim" list.
the virginian pilot got sued over this not that long ago. You guys should organize and ram it up their @$$. They are invading your privacy. and endangering you in your own home
Someone should check the database in question against the people and thier family members who work for that paper. They don't need to post a non holder database, in effect they already did. If you are not on the database you are not armed. I bet the majority of the people useing that database are criminals, nope this mark isn't armed, easy target for tonights robbery. Someone needs to inform that paper that by posting a database of people who are legally armed, they are also posting one for the people that aren't armed and endangering the public as a whole. In fact if I was not on the list I would be even more worried for my safety than the people on the list. Someone local should find out if the guy who owns the paper is on the list, if not send him a letter saying for instance:

"Sir, thanks to your database, I now know you are not legally armed, and quess what, so do any criminals who may wish to do you harm, I'm sure after they rob you they will thank you for doing the homework for them."

The only way to stop a bunch of anti gun people from doing things like this is to show them how it endangers them. I had one guy tell me I don't own any guns, I have no use for a gun. I said, great, you should put a sign in your yard stating that, and saying rob me first I'm not armed. He never did, wonder why.;]
The database is not complete though, my step dad was in there but my brother wasn't. They both got thier license the same time with my p-14 limited. Also checked another guy I know has one, he wasn't in there either.
hmm I might be kinda late jumping in this but what the hay. I have to agree and disagree slightly. I agree that the database should be private BUT if a criminal looks at the database to see who is armed or who is not for what house he will rob that night then I would say he is using an unworthy approach. A, you dont have to have a permit to own a gun, B, you dont have to own a gun to have a permit, C, what burglar breaks into a house while someone is home? i bet its not the guys that do their homework. Yes if they are in need of a gun they have a better chance of finding one in the home of a permit holder If the permit holder is home or if he/she owns more then one. But when I think of a permit holder I think of someone who is more responsible with their weapons then the avearge joe and doesnt leave weapons lying around or in easy access when not at home. I AM NOT saying the database is good BUT if I were a criminal looking for a gun would I go to a house that the person is serious enough about thier safety and has a permit airgo prolly trains on self defense shooting and is a good shot or would I roll the dice and hit a random house in TN where almost all homes have guns?

The carry permit is like a drivers license. You dont have to have a license to own a car and just becaue you have a license does not mean you own a car. Just my 2 cents. If the gun grabbers feel more comfy to know who has a permit and more importantly who does NOT have a permit then so be it if that means I get to have my permit. One day (i pray) the only permit anyone needs is the 2A and there fore all citizens of the US whom are in good standing will have a carry permit.
Well one thing the data base does it to let a criminal know if he does go to a permit holders home come with force. It takes away the element of surprise, if a criminal knows this is the home of a permit holder he has to come in shooting. And what happens if the only permit holder/shooter in the house is not at home when a break in occurs it definitely puts your family at more risk. We are victimized by the State when we are forced to register to defend our families, they have taken our second amendment rights away by making us register to carry our arms. It is sad that we are treated like sex offenders just because we choose not to be victims by the media.

I wonder how the newspaper staff would feel if we published their names and addresses and told the entire internet who they were and where they live. I bet they would not feel that should be public.
yogi01;111179...I wonder how the newspaper staff would feel if we published their names and addresses and told the entire internet who they were and where they live. I bet they would not feel that should be public.[/QUOTE said:
They need to remember their personal information is available, on the Shelby County Tax Assessor's database:to_pick_ones_nose:
Grant Smith :to_pick_ones_nose: recently updated the HCP database in the CA. I'd like to thank him for leaving my name out of it again!
Gun Database

A few years back, there was a movie depicting a military invasion of the U.S
Oddly enough, the first thing the attacking forces did was to obtain just such a database in the area they had just occupied in order to strip the populace of their weapons. Such a thing can possibly happen here, not only from an attacking force but from our radical liberal politicians in both national and state governments. The Brady group is definitely anti-gun as well as other organizations. I have read in different papers, etc. that our Secretary of State is proposing that the U.S. become a member of a world organization that would, in effect, prevent guns worldwide. It is incumbent upon us, as citizens, to be proactive in the choice of our politicians and oust all who are trying to subjugate our country to any world organization and who openly apologize to the world for being the greatest country in the world. Now is not the time for us to forfeit our rights given to us by the constitution but is the time to prepare to defend our rights especially under the Second Amendment.
@OldGrunt, I think the movie you are talking about is Red Dawn with Patrick Swayze Circa about 1984, only the 1st thing they actually did wasn't obtain such a database,but go to he Gun store and obtain the forms we signed when we bought our weapons and the Gun stores are required to keep on file even now. They also obtained records from the court house on who was Veterans, and got records of who was boy scouts. Google watch red dawn on line free, and re watch as it is worth watching again.

No what somebody needs to to is mail the paper and tell them how what they are doing is unconstitutional and how it could be used to identify non gun owners by criminals.

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