Battle between 1st and 2nd AmendmentsPosted: January 23, 2013
New York state passed a law on Tuesday that keeps the records of gun permit holders confidential.
The issue arose after The Journal News published a graphic that pinpointed the names and addresses of gun permit holders in two New York counties — Westchester and Rockland. As a result, the Journal News was also forced to remove the map, which the publication subsequently did with no objection.
However, there are others within the journalism industry that are not willing to go away as quietly, arguing that hiding these records takes away from the purpose of the freedom of the press — to inform citizens to help ensure public knowledge and safety.
So, what we have here is a battle between the first two amendments of the Bill of Rights. Many side with the first — particularly journalists — stating that it keeps people aware of firearms in their surroundings. Many side with the second, stating that gun permits should not be flaunted just because some people with firearms are considered dangerous.
Does naming and specifically locating people with gun permits take away from those people’s privacy? Does shielding the rest of the public from knowing “potential threats” in their surroundings promote a lack of safety? Are there any ways that these two entities — press and gun laws — can work in unison to create safety/privacy for both sides?