Montana Newspaper Association Wants Concealed Carry Records Kept Partially Open

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With a national food-fight over gun control on-going, and media outlets publishing the home addresses of gun owners on the east coast, the Montana state legislature is considering a bill that would shut down access to records on concealed carry permit holders in their state.

Unfortunately, the Montana Newspaper Association doesn’t want that to happen. My friend Aaron Flint at Northern Broadcasting has the MNA’s testimony submitted to the legislature. An excerpt:

By passing this bill as written, and categorizing all information regarding applications as Confidential Justice Information, even such neutral, non-identifying statistical information, such as the number of applications, or permits granted, would become much more difficult to obtain, and to which the public is undoubtedly entitled.

The MNA might have a point. I don’t think anyone should be able to get the personal information of a concealed carry permit holder, but generic statistical data on the number of permits issued and the like? That information should be available.

For what it’s worth, I called the North Dakota Attorney General’s office today and asked to know what, if any, data was available for North Dakota concealed carry permit holders (North Dakota does not require firearm registration). Statistical information is available, but personal information about individual gun owners is not.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Bill

    Numbers, not names or other personal identifying information. It’s a reasonable policy.

    • ‘Tom Crawford

      I agree. Names and addresses should never be published or released. Gender, age and type of permits allowed would be appropriate to garner statistical information should be perfectly fine.

  • Thresherman

    If the personal information of a CCW holder is to be made available, then those who oppose CCW should be made to register and their information made public as well. The best touchstone of a fair deal is to turn it around and see if it still seems fair then.

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