US Newspaper Conglomerate Plans To Build ‘State-By-State’ Database Of Gun Owners

| by Khier Casino

A national newspaper organization has considered building state-by-state databases of people who carry concealed weapons.

Civitas Media, which owns nearly 100 publications and has about 1.6 million readers, plans to use public records act requests to build the databases, according to an email obtained by the Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio.

Jim Lawitz, Civitas’ director of content, sent the email to content directors, managers and producers on Jan. 19, saying that the newest project “examines the explosion of ‘conceal and carry’ gun permits across the U.S.”

Lawitz began the email by writing: “We are launching two enterprise projects across our newsrooms this month. The first will deal with the creeping influence of heroin in our communities. The deadly drug has quietly taken over, reaching across all age groups and eclipsing meth as the recreational drug of choice.

“The second project examines the explosion of ‘conceal and carry’ gun permits across the U.S. Through public records act requests, we will attempt to build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry a concealed weapon,” Lawitz added.

Chad Baus, secretary of the Buckeye Firearms Association, received the email from an unnamed source within the company who was worried about the media group’s intentions. Baus told that whatever plans are behind the new project, he wants the effort stopped.

“The goal is to raise awareness because each and every time a newspaper organization does this type of thing, the public reacts very strongly to it,” Baus said. “And yes, we do want it stopped. They’re saying they’re not going to publish the list, but once the list is compiled, what are they going to do with it?”

Civitas Media CEO Michael Bush says that the media company has never had any plans or intentions to publish in print or online lists of any names of "conceal and carry" permits, the Examiner reports. He insists that no such database will be developed.