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Grass Roots North Carolina Forum for Firearms Education

Grass Roots North Carolina for Firearms Education

North Carolina --(Ammoland.com)-On Thursday, WRAL-TV published an article on its site entitled “Rural areas lead in concealed weapons permit rates.” (http://tiny.cc/42klhw)

Unfortunately, within the article a section entitled “Find concealed carry permit-holders in your area” contained a database of permit-holders searchable by address, potentially revealing to criminals the homes from which firearms may be stolen.

WRAL web editor Kelly Hinchcliffe responded to complaints by insisting that permit information is public record, ignoring the fact that obtaining it requires a written request to the State Bureau of Investigation. Moreover, although the names of permit-holders were not disclosed, the partial address information (including apartment numbers), particularly on small streets, makes it possible for criminals to target specific homes for theft.

A lengthy conversation with WRAL General Manager Steve Hammel, while pleasant, produced no significant movement on the part of the station. Their position is that they have sufficiently de-identified the address information. When it was noted that street numbers had appeared initially for some records, he noted that it had been corrected by Friday. He also said they would “look at” trailing apartment numbers which are still part of the addresses. But the bottom line is that the station refuses to pull the link.

TIME FOR ACTION
It has been longstanding policy at GRNC that any media attempt to invade the privacy of either handgun purchase permit-holders or concealed handgun permit-holders would be met with economic action against the media outlet and its advertisers. It is now time for you to act: Help GRNC make an example that will leave an impression on media outlets to discourage them from further acts of journalistic irresponsibility!

GLASS HOUSES?
In an apparent attempt to shame gun owners, some media outlets have a history of publishing the names of gun purchasers. But that was many years ago, before the advent of the Internet. Things are now far more reciprocal. So let’s talk a bit about reporter Mark Binker, the apparent engineer of the piece to reveal concealed handgun permit-holders.

But first, an admonition: DO NOT THREATEN OR HARASS MARK BINKER. If you contact him to express your disappointment with the article … BE POLITE, DO NOT THREATEN, and CALL OR EMAIL ONLY ONCE!

MEET MARK BINKER
Mark Gerald Binker is an up-and-coming reporter. After making an excellent career move in leaving the Greensboro News & Record just three months ago, he landed a job with WRAL-TV. Mark and his lovely wife, Marla J. Binker, reside at 17XX Chadstone Ct., Raleigh, NC 27615-7403. His cell number is 919-621-0970 and his work email is mbinker@wral.com.

Mark has exceptional media experience, including:

  • 1987-1991, 1997: Interim Reporter, Capital News Service, College Park, MD.
  • 1996-1997: Associate Editor, CD Publications, Silver Springs, MD.
  • 1998-2000: Suburban Staff Writer, Philadelphia Enquirer, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2000-2005: Business/ local/ government Reporter, News & Record, Greensboro, NC
  • 2005-March 2012: State Government & Politics Reporter, News & Record, Greensboro, NC
  • March 2012- Present: Multimedia Investigative Reporter, WRAL TV, Raleigh, NC

Mr. Binker is also very well educated, having received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (1995) at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; and his Masters of Arts in Journalism (1997 University of Maryland, College Park, MD).

Happily, Mark is one of the few reporters who is not a registered Democrat. According to the State Board of Elections, he is registered as Unaffiliated, with a gender of male, a race of white, and an ethnicity of “undesignated.” His voter registration number is 000099949361, his registration date is 08/29/2005, and his precinct is 01-42. For better or worse, he is, in fact, eligible to vote.

But it is Mark’s family for which he truly deserves commendation. In addition to his lovely wife Marla, whom he married slightly less than twelve years ago, Mark enjoys two fine sons, Mason and Max. (Mark, Marla, Mason and Max. Cute, no?)

Marla herself seems quite talented, with photo credits to her name, plus what appears to be a fascinating history of her family, from which it appears her maiden name was Smith and her family, perhaps, originally Jewish Russian. She keeps extensive photo albums of the family’s activities, including a Portland vacation, Christmases, birthday parties, pony rides and sailing expeditions in Washington state’s Gig Harbor.

But Mark is no slouch either, as evidenced by “adventures of the Binker family in Raleigh, NC.” The Binkers enjoy Disneyland vacations and, apparently, a strong family bond.

In deference to the fact that Mark’s article didn’t QUITE reveal the most personal information of concealed handgun permit-holders, we have withheld Mark’s exact address and additional information about his family even though they are available on the Internet as what WRAL apologist Kelly Hinchcliffe calls “public information.”

 

Immediate Action Required

We need you to do three things:

  1. CONTACT WRAL GENERAL MANAGER STEVE HAMMEL and let him know that you will shun both the station and its advertisers until such time that the concealed handgun permit-holder search engine is removed and an apology is made to NC permit-holders;
  2. CONTACT WRAL ADVERTISER CHRIS LEITH DODGE and let them know they are advertising with a media outlet bent on attacking gun rights, and that they should withdraw their advertising immediately.
  3. CONTACT WRAL REPORTER MARK BINKER and politely let him know you don’t appreciate the invasion of the privacy of concealed handgun permit-holders.

CONTACT INFO

WRAL-TV General Manager STEVE HAMMEL: Email shammel@wral.com AND call him personally in his office at: 919-821-8520

WRAL advertiser CHRIS LEATH: Email sales@chrisleithdodge.com AND call him personally in his office at: 919-556-3137.

Contact WRAL reporter MARK BINKER at: Aw, heck, you probably saw that in the article above.

Deliver This Message

Again: DO NOT BE RUDE OR THREATENING
———————————————————–
To Chris Leith Dodge:

Dear Mr. Leith:

Unfortunately, your advertising dollars are being used to attack my rights. I’m sorry you have been caught up in this, but one of your major advertising venues, WRAL-TV, has attacked the rights of lawful North Carolina gun owners, subjecting them to criminal predation by releasing nearly complete addresses of concealed handgun permit-holders.

As you are probably aware, NC concealed handgun permit-holders are overwhelmingly law-abiding, politically conservative and fiscally responsible, making us your best customers.

Although I’m sure you have no intent to attack the right to keep and bear arms, your advertising dollars are being used to do precisely that. As such, I am asking you to contact WRAL and tell them to stop attacking law-abiding citizens and apologize for the attacks they have so far made.

If they fail to respond to your entreaties, I further ask that you withdraw all advertising expenditures from the station and let me know so that I can tout your Dodge truck dealership to lawful gun owners statewide as one who supports the rights of lawful Americans.

I look forward to patronizing your dealerships as supporters of the United States Constitution.

Respectfully,

—————————————————–

To WRAL & Mark Binker:

Gentlemen:

I find it difficult to fathom that you would be so journalistically irresponsible as to publish even partial addresses of concealed handgun permit-holders. Ignoring the fact that this group is overwhelmingly responsible, with a rate of criminal prosecutions just a fraction of the general population; ignoring the fact that permit-holders are threats to no one, making their location irrelevant to your readership, it amazes me that your legal department would allow you to print what may be tantamount to an invitation to burglarize unoccupied homes.

Your claims that the information is already public ring hollow: In truth, getting it requires a written inquiry from the State Bureau of Investigation. In truth, you are compromising the personal information of law-abiding North Carolinians not for public benefit, but instead as part of your effort to undermine the right to keep and bear arms.

Remove the information from your site immediately and make apologies to the concealed handgun permit-holders you have threatened. If you fail to do so, I will not only stop patronizing your station and website, I will actively work to deny you advertising revenue.

Respectfully,

TWITTER BLAST
Twitter users: send a message via this powerful social media by clicking the link below:

Take down the CHP database @WRAL and @Binker. #GRNC members will not stand for the invasion of privacy. http://bit.ly/Mrr4Re

About:
Grass Roots North Carolina/Forum for Firearms Education is a non-profit, all volunteer organization devoted to educating the public about trends which abridge the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and engaging in grass roots activism to preserve those freedoms. Formed in 1994 to conduct a highly successful rally for the Second Amendment, GRNC has gone on to conduct projects like “Remember in November: A Gun Owner’s Guide to Voting,” bringing concealed carry to North Carolina. Visit:www.grnc.org

Editorial Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, or other sponsors and partners. See the Editorial-Review Process for more details.
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  • 13 User comments to “North Carolina’s WRAL-TV Publishes Identifying Info of NC Concealed Carry Holders”

    1. Brett Asher on July 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM said:

      This is the response I got from WRAL.

      Dear Mr. Asher,

      Thank you for your email.

      Our story on concealed weapon permits in NC has generated a passionate response. Public debate about the issues is good for our community. As always, we welcome your comments, questions and concerns about our coverage. Our commitment since 1956 has been to inform the public without favor or bias.

      We believe that access to public information is a freedom that extends to everyone — not just to those who have the time, expertise and persistence to find it on their own. Public records are often difficult to locate, assemble and organize. This database as well as other public records provides easy access to data that is open and available to all citizens. Federal and state law protects the public’s right to know. Our intention was to help readers better relate to the story by seeing how many permit holders live near them. For example, showing that 2.1% of Wake County’s population has concealed weapon permits is not the same information as half the people on my street have permits.

      There is far more private information available in the concealed weapon permit public records. Those records include full name, full address, date of birth and identifying marks (birth marks and tattoos), date of issuance and date of expiration. We proactively stripped all personal information from the 78,000 files in the public records before publishing them online, however that information has always been available by request to the public.

      Additionally, as you likely know, in NC, you don’t need a permit to own a handgun or shotgun, so the database is not a gun database by street. If the database indicates there are zero concealed weapons permits on a street, one should not conclude there are no guns. There are many streets where guns are located that are not indicated in the database. The database only identifies how many concealed permit holders there are on any given street.

      Thank you again for writing.

      Jim Rothschild
      Station Manager
      WRAL-TV
      2619 Western Boulevard
      Raleigh, NC 27606
      WRAL.com

    2. [...] NC CCW DatabaseJust thought some of you NC CCW permit holders may want to know about this: http://www.ammoland.com/2012/07/17/north-carolinas-wral-tv-publishes-identifying-info-of-nc-conceale…__________________"Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing [...]

    3. [...] Station Outs CCW Holders North Carolina's WRAL-TV Publishes Identifying Info of NC Concealed Carry Holders __________________ ***phoning it [...]

    4. Ruffin Paschal on July 18, 2012 at 5:17 PM said:

      It is completely untrue that the WRAL published identifiable data in their story. They published statistics about the number of permits on a given street but did not include street numbers. The paranoia exhibited by gun rights folks related to this story is off the charts.

    5. Hey Ruffin,

      You may not realize this, but if you live on a cul-de-sac or short street there may only be a few houses. This information tells criminals that there is something with high street value that is likely contained within one of these houses. Why not make a similar list of everyone who has a prescription for opioids or a database of everyone who carries large amounts of cash at all times? It is nobody’s business. Just like it is not your business whether I have a CCW unless I decide I want to tell you. Think!

    6. Dennis on July 19, 2012 at 9:49 PM said:

      Asher is stupid on this one. You have to have a permit to own a handgun in NC. If your house is the only house on a street, guess what, more than likely you are the one with the permit.

    7. doesn’t everyone in NC have guns ? what I find disturbing is the publishing on your site of so much “public” info about the reporters family.

    8. Hey Brett Asher, I got the same exact reply back from Mr. Rothschild about their concealed carry website. Go figure. That explains why he never replied back to my second email.

    9. Nice. And if one of the many gun rights whackjobs reading this decides to carry out a personal vendetta against the reporter or his family, using the information you just collected and published, will you admit to being at least partially responsible?

      This is a childish response.

    10. You do NOT need a permit to own a handgun in North Carolina. You need a “purchase permit” obtained from the county sheriff in order to buy one. It isn’t a permit to carry and it isn’t a permit to own (you give up the paper when you buy and never get it back), it’s simply a permit to purchase. That being said, it’s information that shouldn’t be broadcasted to the public, most of that info is protected under the Privacy Act of 1974.

      Not everyone in NC owns guns. For starters, the cities of NC are becoming more and more liberal mindless zombie who try to push anti gun agendas on the rest of the state. Concealed carry holders are already exhibiting a willingness to follow the law – so why treat them like registered sex offenders? It’s not the law abiding gun owner that you should be worried about. If that reporter isn’t willing to have his personal info blasted all over the net, he shouldn’t be pulling that crap on law abiding citizens.

    11. BTW, DT, you suck at life. That reporter wouldn’t have to be worried about us “gun rights whackjobs” if he wasn’t making us targets for criminals in the first place. That door goes both ways. If I get victimized because of his actions, I feel no pity if he gets victimized in return. Don’t go painting a target on my house and expect to walk away scott free, he deserves every bit of a target on his too.

    12. To DT and Mark, The reporter is far less likely to be “Victimized” than conceal and carry owners. Criminals can take the information and see which houses are not armed, for bettering their chances at in home robberies, and guess which ones that are, so that God forbid, they go break into a house, with enough time to find and break out properly locked away guns, and sell them or use them in the only gun control agenda that we can’t seem to gain any control over, The ones Who don’t want to follow the laws.
      Last I checked, there are 4 conceal carry murders in the USA every year. Most of those may have something to do with a self defense situation gone wrong, I’ve never seen a news article, or known a situation where a CCW holder committed an atrocity. It’s not amusing for anti-gun activist to imply CCW holders are trigger happy nutjobs or in your words “Whackos” But you’re allowed to say stupid things because of the first amendment. Stop messing with the second. Chances are high that if you’re around a CCW holder, you’re very safe. That individual knows that if they were to take your life, they’re giving up theirs, and if they got a CCW, their life must obviously be important to them.

    13. josh W. on June 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM said:

      the ignorance and arrogance on display from the staff at WRAL is amazing to me. Information is always a 2-way street. I noticed that WRAL general manager Steven Hammel’s address was not on the list of CCW permit holders. Feel free to look for yourself. Hay…it’s public information right…

      WRAL General Manager-
      Steven Hammel and wife Renee
      115 Meadowstone Ct.
      Cary, NC 27513

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