Robert Horne, editor of The Cherokee Scout newspaper in Cherokee, North Carolina resigned this week after death threats over his information request for the names of concealed carry permit holders and applicants in the area.
According to the Columbia Journalism Review, Horne asked Sheriff Keith Lovin of Cherokee County last week for information on local gun owners, not intending to publish their names, but to put a number to how many people legally possess guns.
Sheriff Lovin refused and said it was not public information, Horne went to the city attorney, who said it is public info.
In response, Sheriff Lovin posted Horne's information request on Facebook and wrote: “As the Sheriff of Cherokee County I feel that it is my responsibility to provide for the safety of all citizens of Cherokee County. My Office will continue to support the constitution and all amendments including the Second Amendment. I will continue to uphold my Oath of Office and serve the Citizens of Cherokee County.”
In his Facebook posting, Sheriff Lovin failed to explain how a legal request by a newspaper somehow violates the Second Amendment.
The Facebook posting ignited a firestorm of death threats against Horne, which Sheriff Lovin did not mention.
The Cherokee Scout dropped its information request on Feb. 22, one day after the publisher, David Brown, wrote a lengthy apology to readers and apologized for Horne’s “tremendous error in judgement” for legally requesting public information, reports JimRomenesko.com, a media reporter.
Amazingly, Brown apologized to Sheriff Lovin whose actions began the wave of death threats against Horne: "Sheriff Keith Lovin had the best interests of the people of Cherokee County at heart when he denied our request. The Scout would like to offer an apology to him as well."
After mentioning the death threats that Horne received, Brown went on to brag about this "fine community": "We never meant to offend the wonderful people of this fine community nor hurt the reputation of this newspaper."
Even more amazing, Brown then listed the town with Horne was from, which could place his safety in danger if he chooses to return there.
Brown did not hold Sheriff Lovin responsible for igniting the the threats against Horne.
Horne told JimRomenesko.com on Tuesday that he decided to quit his post at The Cherokee Scout and move out of the state after numerous death threats from law-abiding gun owners.
“I have reported the threats against me and my home to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department and they’ve responded to them professionally,” said Horne.