Leah Barkoukis

Perhaps worse than a newspaper publishing the names and addresses of residents with handgun permits is an Android app that lets users post information about gun owners they deem “potentially unsafe.” Via Fox News:

The Gun Geo Marker app, released to Google’s Play app store on July 7, invites users to mark the homes and businesses of “suspected unsafe gun owners … to help others in the area learn about their geography of risk from gun accidents or violence. "The app bills itself as merely a tool to collect information, but it was hit with a firestorm of negative reviews and comments from people worried that it could do more harm than good.

Concerns have been raised that it’s a violation of privacy and potentially causes safety issues for non-gun owners.

“This makes those who don't have guns an easier target for criminals. It’s a safety issue,” John Lott, gun expert and author of the book "More Guns, Less Crime," told FoxNews.com.

“I’ve debated a lot of gun control advocates over the years, and I’ve never met someone who has been willing to put up a sign in front of their house indicating that their home is a gun-free zone,” he said.

And not surprisingly, the developer of Gun Geo Marker, Brett Stalbaum, said he has received threats over the app.

"The gun rights community has been busy making personal threats (we remain unconcerned), as well as spamming the Gun Geo Marker database with false markers," he exclusively told FoxNews.com. "Though these fake markers are not useful for identifying dangerous guns and owners, they are certainly representative of the highly paranoid reaction we have come to expect from any attempt to improve gun safety in the United States.

"This kind of reaction -- automatically lining up on the wrong side of reasonable measures to improve the safe use and ownership of guns -- aids and abets the crisis of child shooting deaths," he said.

Most would agree that improving gun safety is crucially important, but going about it through an app like Gun Geo Marker could do more harm than good.  



Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography