Gawker publishes list of all handgun owners in New York City

2:04 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
A screen capture from Gawker.com regarding death threats received by their employees after publishing a list of all handgun owners in New York City.
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NEW YORK (WXIA) -- On the heels of a suburban New York newspaper publishing a database of handgun owners in two New York counties, the popular website Gawker.com has published a 446-page database of all gun owners in New York City.

Gawker's editor John Cook said in an article on the site late Tuesday that they had obtained the list in 2010 after a Freedom of Information request.

Cook points out a quote from section 400.00 of the Penal Law of New York states regarding the availability of information about owners of firearms in that state:

"The name and address of any person to whom an application for any license has been granted shall be a public record."

In 2010, Cook says he noted that a number of high profile New Yorkers, including Donald Trump Sr. and Jr., Don Imus, Howard Stern, Sean Hannity and Roger Ailes all appear to have gun permits in New York City.

In December, the Journal News (which, like 11Alive, is owned by Gannett) in Westchester County, posted a database-driven map of addresses of gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties. Neighboring Putnam County insisted they would break state law and not comply with a similar request from the Journal News.

After publication of their database map in December, complaints against the newspaper skyrocketed, with some online dissenters taking to posting the personal addresses of Journal News editors, writers and even that of Gannett CEO Gracia Martore in Virginia. Many online comments promised boycotts of advertisers associated with any Gannett property across the nation.

After Gawker published the New York City list, they began receiving telephone and online threats of bodily harm to employees.

"You better look both ways when you leave the building," said one threat received by an employee they said was unrelated to the article.

Gawker says they have contacted police, and notes that the threats are on the heels of them publishing information that is already available to the public.

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