Maine paper drops request for gun permit info

Bangor Daily News | Portland Press Herald | Morning Sentinel

The Bangor Daily News will no longer seek information about concealed-carry permits for firearms in Maine, Anthony Ronzio writes.

We have informed the agencies who received our request to disregard it. We’ve informed the agencies who have responded that their records will be destroyed.

The paper, Ronzio writes, "never would have published personally identifying information of any permit holder in Maine, as a newspaper in New York had done. To have done so would have been irresponsible to our readers and our communities."

The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News published a map of gun-permit holders at the end of 2012, prompting New York state to tighten access to the records. An Arkansas legislator cited The Journal News' map when introducing a successful bill that would similarly shield gun-permit holders.

Virginia's General Assembly passed similar legislation this week, and advocates again cited The Journal News' map.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage -- not a fan of newspapers to begin with -- tweeted a picture of his own concealed-carry permit. "If newspapers would like to know who has concealed weapons permits, then they should know the Governor has his," the Portland Press Herald reported LePage said.

Maine's legislature is considering legislation that would shield the personal information of concealed-carry permit-holders from Freedom of Information requests. The bill's sponsor "said he’s a gun owner, but he wouldn’t say whether or not he carries a concealed weapon," the Morning Sentinel reported.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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