February 16, 2009

Memphis Commercial Appeal Publishes Tennessee CHL Permit List; Gun Owners React

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chris Peck, editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, defended his (and his paper's) decision to post a a Web-only database that allows people to search by name or ZIP code for those who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Tennessee.

In his editorial, Peck wrote, "Misunderstandings with people who carry guns can turn ugly.

"This past week it has been ugly at the newspaper, after passionate gun owners latched onto three very wrong ideas about why The Commercial Appeal's website now lists all those in Tennessee who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

"The Tennessee Firearms Association and others have fanned the frenzy against our website posting of the permit-to-carry list. Pro-gun groups orchestrated a protest campaign that has spread nationwide. By late last week, Commercial Appeal executives were receiving as many as 600 e-mails a day, along with dozens of phone calls at home, at work and on their cell phones. Maps to their houses, with ominous warnings, had been posted online.

Our crime? Putting up a web-only database that allows people to search by name or ZIP code for those who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Tennessee. The list came from the Tennessee Department of Safety and is available to anyone who wants it, simply by contacting the agency's office. The state of Tennessee, to this point, has decided that the right to carry a concealed weapon comes with the responsibility of agreeing to have a public record of who is packing."

Several paragraphs later he concluded, "The newspaper isn't anti-gun. We are pro-news and information. That's our job, and we want to do it right."

Do you believe that's true? At GunReports.com, we have our doubts. Journalists are often surprised when their stories violating the rights of private citizens draw angry responses. It's a kind of cluelessness common among media people, who overwhelmingly don't support the 2nd Amendment with the same vigor as they do the 1st Amendment.

Read the full text of the editorial here.

Peck asked for comment at (901) 529-2390 or at Peck@CommercialAppeal.com. Other contacts for the paper include Joseph Pepe, publisher, Pepe@CommericialAppeal.com.

Comments (17)

you handle this simply by finding out if the editors name is on the list and if not go put a sign in his yard that says this house is not protected by the second amendment rights. that will shut him up hopefully permanently

Posted by: pa-cman | March 12, 2009 1:19 PM    Report this comment

Why don't they publish the names and addresses of the ATF agents in the state as well??

Posted by: lotoofla | February 24, 2009 6:54 PM    Report this comment

Isn't it just like the media to twist the truth to their way of thinking. Tennessee does not have a concealed carry permit. As the Dept of Safety site notes, it's a HANDGUN CARRY PERMIT. You don't have to conceal if you choose not to.

Posted by: knight2 | February 23, 2009 11:35 PM    Report this comment

That's some insightful thinking, Gaviota. In what manner did Chris Peck think he was helping the community by exposing a flawed record keeping system in Tennessee? His action is definitely anti-gun and he, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the state of Tennessee should face charges of negligence. Time will reveal where this story will lead. Personally, if nobody was observing, I'd probably knock some sense into him.

Posted by: JWallace | February 22, 2009 12:10 PM    Report this comment

Die newspaper Die. If anyone on the list is harmed or not it looks like the newspaper will be sued out of business. Russ

Posted by: puma | February 21, 2009 11:32 AM    Report this comment

As correctly noted by a previous poster the fault here lies with the State of Tennessee for permitting public access to CCL data. Some states, including mine, prohibit the release of CC licensee information by statute. The outraged TN gun owners might want to redirect some of their wrath to their state legislators.

Posted by: Dulrug | February 21, 2009 11:18 AM    Report this comment

Burglary is the least of my worries. What about the woman who carries concealed and lives in hiding because her ex has sworn to kill her? What about the man who fled his home town with his family because he testified against his meth-cooking neighbors, who have sworn to kill him? What about the elderly couple who live in a bad neighborhood, and now fear that they'll be shot in the back without warning the next time they're robbed?
These "journalists" will have BLOOD on their hands when this happens. It's not about property, it's about human rights and security!

Posted by: Gaviota | February 20, 2009 8:51 PM    Report this comment

The first one of the CCW holders whose home is burglarized and their guns stolen should sue the paper, the editors and owners personally and the State of Tennessee for providing information to the burglars about who has guns and where they live.

Posted by: EdD270 | February 20, 2009 5:26 PM    Report this comment

Peck and his paper and the Tennessee Dept. of Safty should be taken out and left there where they cant hurt honest people that just want to protect themselves and others but YOU CANT FIX STUPID

Posted by: bear1 | February 19, 2009 11:27 PM    Report this comment

Sounds like the state needs to change their policy and not make concealed carry holders names public, since like it has been said the reason for concealed carry is concealed.

Posted by: texasqtrhorse | February 19, 2009 10:21 PM    Report this comment

Well put Robert. A judge, a district attorney, even an FPL employee can have their "personal information" unlisted for their protection but we don't rate. Channel 9 in Orlando(WFTV)did this same thing under the guise of 'matter of public record' and the local hue and cry was tremendous.Ratings fell and I'm sure anyone in the viewing area with a permit no longer patronized the stations advertisers.I suggest this same action where possible for the Memphis Commercial Appeal.By the way whats the appeal. FPL= Florida Power & Light

Posted by: jon a | February 19, 2009 7:57 PM    Report this comment

They should publish the names and address's of all the individuals who belong to anti-gun groups. How would they like it then if criminals targeted them because they know there are no guns at their residence?

Posted by: Robert J | February 19, 2009 1:47 PM    Report this comment

Too bad we don't have laws against stupid, but then if we did there would be few newspapers. Some day when it's too late, even poor saps like Mr. Peck will realize their ignorance.

Posted by: longrange | February 19, 2009 1:04 PM    Report this comment

How about invasion of privacy and putting people in jeopardy?

This paper needs to be sued.

Posted by: rcastanza | February 19, 2009 10:39 AM    Report this comment

There is a reason its called concealed. I am sure the paper will bear the responsibility for increased home robberies by criminals looking for guns to steal or better planed street robberies of people known to carry a gun. or how about the unbalanced person looking to commit suicide by person with a carry permit. Its not that far fetched and the discrimination on a first name basis now that everyone knows you have a gun. What a f**king can of worms this guy has opened.

Posted by: ira o | February 19, 2009 10:20 AM    Report this comment

The liberals (newspapers, same difference) down here in south Florida wanted to do this and it was fought in court and they lost. These clowns have no concept of PRIVACY and, as Robert said, the purpose of "concealed" is that nobody is supposed to know. The argument used in court down here was that it exposed gun owners as potential targets to gun thieves.

Posted by: Haidozo | February 19, 2009 9:54 AM    Report this comment

The liberal media just cannot help showing their ignorance, to call them clueless is an understatement. The point in having a weapon concealed is that NOBODY is suppose to know.

Posted by: Robert J | February 19, 2009 9:27 AM    Report this comment

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