Advocates of gun control seem to think nothing bad can come from registering firearms. If you say you oppose firearm registration they’ll often call you paranoid or say some mutation of the phrase “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.” Why would a gun owner who has done nothing wrong oppose firearm registration systems? Because they can lead to fiascos like this:
The map indicates the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Each dot represents an individual permit holder licensed to own a handgun — a pistol or revolver. The data does not include owners of long guns — rifles or shotguns — which can be purchased without a permit. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location owns a weapon, just that they are licensed to do so.
At the link you’ll find two maps. One map shows the location of every handgun permit holder in Westchester County and the other shows every handgun permit holder in Rockland County (both counties are in New York). If you click on any of the dots that appear on the map you’ll get the name of the permit holder and their address. What are the ramifications of such a map? Let’s say you were a criminal in search of a handgun or a burglar looking for high money merchandise, what would you do with this map? In all likelihood you would use this map to find known handgun owners, stake out their residences, and break in when nobody was home in the hopes of walking away with some handguns. Handguns are valuable items for thieves. These maps basically give thieves prospective targets to rob.
This is one reason why firearm registration systems are bad, they provide information to criminals on prospective targets for robbery. If gun control advocates are truly concerned with keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals they should oppose firearm registration schemes. Even if the information isn’t generally made available to the public it can be leaked by individuals who have access to the data. A list of handgun permit holders would be a valuable item and therefore an individual in control of such a database would have motives to leak it.