Over 110,000 UK gun owners' details leaked by animal rights activists

2 September 2021, 08:58 | Updated: 2 September 2021, 09:12

Gun owners around the UK had their details released in the leak.
Gun owners around the UK had their details released in the leak. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The names and addresses of over 110,000 UK gun owners have been leaked by animal rights activists.

Authorities are investigating the data breach linked to selling platform Guntrader.

It saw 111, 295 users' details released in July, with activists sharing the details on a blog, according to tech website The Register.

The document was later reformatted as a Google Earth-compatible map that showed individual locations, with demonstrators telling followers to "contact as many as you can in your area and ask them if they are involved in shooting animals".

Though intended to discourage gun owners from bloodsports, there have since been concerns that details could fall into the hands of criminals.

The severe risk could not only impact those with firearm certificates, but also those who may have moved house to one of the locations listed in recent months.

The document was deleted by Google.

Read more: Animal rights group blockades largest dairy factory in UK

Read more: 'Meat is murder': Hundreds of people protest against animal cruelty in London

Vegan caller hits out at vilification of animal rights activists

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation told The Register: "BASC is concerned about this latest development. We have flagged those concerns to the National Crime Agency.

"In the meantime, we advise the shooting community to maintain vigilance around security and report any concerns to the police."

One shooter told the site that, despite his details being stolen, the geolocation instead pointed to his parents' home, putting them in danger.

A National Crime Agency spokesman said: "The NCA is aware that information has been published online as a result of a recent data breach which impacted Guntrader.

"We are working closely with the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit, who are leading the criminal investigation, to support the organisation and manage any risk."

In its initial statement following the incident, Guntrader confirmed that no information concerning the "location of firearms was taken" but acknowledged that names and addresses had been. Guntrader has not commented further on the story.