A mobile phone app company in Utah is trying to help both sides of the gun violence issue find retail outlets that cater to their respective beliefs.
GunFreeZoneApp.com on Monday announced the release of its new app, GunFreeZone, which, when downloaded, will help identify the nearest 20 commercial locations, including businesses, churches and schools, as either firearm friendly or gun free, according to a company news release.
"Guns are a hot topic and emotions run deep," said Karl Hale, the app developer and founder. "Activists on both sides of the firearms debate want a way to share their opinions and make their voices heard."
The company said the app allows users to support and advance their opinions by identifying the commercial locations that share their views, and helps those carrying concealed weapons to avoid any unintentional offense by bringing a weapon into a gun-free store.
In some states, a gun free zone sign on the front door of a business has the effect of law, according to the release.
Similarly, people concerned about the proliferation of guns can easily identify gun free zones where they might feel safer.
"We realized that people wanted to know where gun free zones are so that they could either avoid or support those locations and there wasn't an easy way to get that information," said John Peden, another founder of GunFreeZone. "We just released the app and already over 3,000 people from every state in the U.S. have downloaded the app and have marked almost 10,000 locations so far."
Peden said the Mapleton, UT, company expects every commercial location in the country to be marked, allowing people to stay compliant with their state's gun laws and also effectively supporting or boycotting businesses "according to which side of the gun coin they are on."
With the app, the phone utilizes GPS to find its location and the nearest 20 stores. Touching a store's name brings up the page where users can mark the store as either a gun free zone or firearm friendly. The app tracks how many people have marked the location and the information is shared with every other user of the app.
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