The gun owners next door (wherever they are)

Guns are displayed in the showroom of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range on April 30 in Des Plaines, Ill. The past year saw a rise in gun ownership.SHAFKAT ANOWAR/Associated Press The question posed by your July 3 editorial — “Should you know if your neighbor has a gun?” — has a simple answer: No. Not any more than you have a right to know anything else that is in their house. Exercising your Second Amendment rights does not mean giving up your other rights, including your right to privacy. The question itself is misleading: The list you favor would tell where people who are licensed to legally possess firearms live; however, most gun crimes are committed by unlicensed owners with illegally obtained weapons. And while a publicly available list of licensed gun owners might make crooks less likely to break into those owners’ residences while someone is home, it is more likely to make them a target when nobody is home. What you describe sounds more like a fishing expedition: Get a list of everyone who went through the process to get a license, and then do what? On the basis of nothing but their receiving that license, search their driving record, organizations they belong to, social media history? Not for anything criminal, but just for things you don’t like? Like so much gun “safety” legislation, this is a bad idea that should go exactly nowhere. The Globe Editorial Board advocates invading the privacy of people with gun […]

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