A computer programmer from Utah decided to use his talents to further the political debate on gun control.
Founder John Peden, a firearm owner himself, wanted to fight back against gun control laws, and so created the “Gun Free Zone” app for smart phones which allows users to see which businesses around them are gun-friendly.
“If my gun is not welcome in your store, my money is not welcome either,” he said in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Peden noted as well that people with opposite beliefs as his can use the app to shop only in gun free areas.
The app uses GPS tracking technology already inside smartphones to map out a user’s surrounding area. The users then must input if their local businesses are gun-friendly or gun-free since the app does not do that for itself. The app keeps track of how many people have claimed a local business is gun-friendly or gun-free, which is information available to all its users.
Peden came up with the idea after he was angered when a New York newspaper published the names and addresses of registered gun owners in the area.
“That’s how it started. I was going to fight back against gun control,” he said.
Though Peden recognizes that his app can be used by criminals to find areas with little gun resistance, he argues that it’s more reason to only go where guns are allowed.
“I think gun-free zones are high crime areas, so me and my family will stay safe and we have less chance of being involved in a shooting at a mall or something like that,” he said.
Peden hopes to use his app to gather information about gun-friendly areas and compare them to crime statistics in order to contribute to the political debate.
Apps do simplify and solve a lot of problems, but the gun control debate has many more variables than crime statistics and gun ownership (gang membership and demographics, for example) — so it’s unlikely there’s an app for that.