|Yep, I'm a gun owner standing here with a loaded S&W .44 Magnum. I must ask," Do ya feel lucky punk? Well do ya?"|
Phoenix, AZ—I personally wrote no less that 14 bills to legalize the carrying of concealed weapons in Arizona. There was one bill for every year until it finally passed. I relentlessly lobbied the Arizona Legislature along with Landis Aden from the Arizona State Rifle Association. It was a long and challenging battle.
I can remember the stiff opposition from even the Republican leadership. The late Senator Jackie Steiner emotionally warned me, “Your bill will bring shootouts to every traffic accident in Arizona!” I quietly informed the good Senator that Arizona law already allowed people to keep loaded guns in their automobile glove compartments. Steiner vowed to do something about that but thankfully never followed up on the threat.
I did not write the final bill that passed but it contained 90% of what I included in prior bills. They left out just one important thing I always added. That was a measure to prevent the release of permit information except to criminal justice agencies.
When the bill sans the data protection aspect was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee I quickly testified that any hit man, rapist or burglar could access the data as a public record to prepare for a deadly crime. The committee saw the light and the final bill was amended to include the data protection and was passed and became law.
As each state enacted Right to Carry legislation many of them omitted the data protection and news reporters published this sensitive personal data. Soon states took steps to protect these databases for obvious reasons.
Now in a move to embarrass, enrage and endanger gun owners the New York Journal published the entire gun owner database complete with a map to their homes. Of course the data could be accessed just as the Journal did, but this news organization simply chose to enable and facilitate the criminal predators in the community. Most common thugs are simply not clever enough to make a Freedom of Information request to government agencies.
Along the way the New York Journal also provided rapists, burglars and killers with a method to determine if their intended victims were unarmed and defenseless. This reckless action by the New York Journal opens the door to serious unintended consequences.
Politicians that hate gun rights like the idea of public accessible gun registration databases. They want to see all gun owners marked with a scarlet letter. However that scarlet letter tells the cowardly criminals to move on. Those without the scarlet letter have become the endangered ones.