The online gossip magazine Gawker says it has contacted police about threats it received after publishing an old list of licensed gun owners in New York.
Online gossip magazine Gawker says it received death threats after publishing a dated list of the names of registered gun owners in New York City.
Less than two hours after the list was published Tuesday, Gawker said someone called the company’s office in New York and said “You’re (expletive) dead.” Gawker posted an audio clip of the call on its website.
Gawker said one if its employees also received an ominous phone call after the post went up warning her: "You better look both ways when you leave the building" and "all of you better look both ways because you're going to get shot."
Gawker said it has contacted police about the threats.
The calls came after the no-holds-barred news and gossip site published a dated 446-page list of the names of every licensed gun owner in New York City. Gawker senior writer John Cook said he obtained the list from the New York Police Department 2 1/2 years ago through an open-records request while working on another story. The searchable list contains only the names, not the addresses, of gun owners.
Last month, The Journal News, a suburban New York newspaper, ignited a controversy when it published online maps showing the names and addresses of people with gun licenses in Westchester and Rockland counties near New York City.
The interactive maps accompanied an article titled “The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood.” The Journal News, which serves Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, said it obtained the public records following the Dec. 14 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults were killed in an elementary school.
Publication of the data touched off a torrent of criticism from, among others, readers, gun owners and elected officials. Many critics complained that publishing the information was an invasion of privacy and unfairly stigmatized gun owners.
The newspaper received mail and phone threats after the information was put up. It says it has since hired armed guards to watch over its offices and make sure its employees are safe.
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