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.