WYOMING, Mich.-The debate over gun control has split the nation and even some households. Now, there’s an app for that. It started with one man’s frustration over his second amendment rights but quickly morphed into a nationwide project that lets the consumer weigh in with their wallet.
John Peden was inspired to create the app the day the New York Times Newspaper decided to publish the names and addresses of legally registered gun owners.
Peden says, “I’m a pro-firearm guy and I didn’t like that.” Instead of going political, he decided to fight back . Peden created a database showing gun owners nearby businesses that welcome both them and their firearms inside.
The smartphone app called ‘Gun Free Zone’ features more than 250,000 locations including businesses, churches and schools.
Peden says, “We realized that if we gather good data, real useful data, then we might be able to change the gun control debate..this really is I think the next wave of political power.”
Peden manages the ‘Gun Free Zone’ app out of his Utah home with the help of two fellow programmers.
Through the use of Google Map technology, users can report whether businesses in their hometown are gun friendly or gun free by visiting in person. Once they verify and tag a status, it goes into the app’s database , allowing potential shoppers to see if the business they want to patronize will allow their guns as well.
Peden says, “They like voting with your wallets, and this app is a way to do that…later on we’ll be able to get other data on top of it things like crime stats, or graffiti, or property values, and then you can educate people on what is the real effect of a gun-free zone on your life. Not what does one side or the other say.”
David Mayville, owner of Anarchy Ink in Wyoming says his business is gun friendly, there’s even a ‘Gun Zone’ sign right by the front door. Mayville didn’t know about the ‘Gun Free Zone’ app but was eager to sign up his business as soon as we showed him.
Mayville says, “It`s easy to victimize someplace that you know doesn’t allow it.” Mayville has Anarchy Ink as a ‘Second Amendment Friendly Business on the Michigan Open Carry, Inc website. He says he’s received a positive response.
Mayville says, “I haven`t had any negative from it, because I have customers, that carry that are police officers and stuff, I haven`t had anyone say that that has made them feel uneasy.”
Peden says, “By you tagging that store, the business owner loves it, cuz you’re getting their message out.”
And the apps creator says, it’s not just for gun-lovers, “Piers Morgan, noted anti-gun news personality, there’s no reason he can’t use my app to shop in every gun-free zone that he wants, and then Ted Nugent, the pro-firearm guy, he could use it to shop in pro-firearm stores.”
Two ways to use one app that could be a game changer in the ongoing gun control debate.
The ‘Gun Free Zone’ app is a free download on any Andriod or iPhone. The app’s creators say their goal is to have 5,000,000 users by the end of this year.