February 22, 2013

M.D. Harmon: Shielding those with concealed firearms also benefits unarmed

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But Maine's permit holders didn't have that protection -- until this week.

It seems they now owe the Bangor Daily News substantial gratitude for its recent campaign to acquire personal data on all the state's holders of concealed firearms permits.

It mattered little to those affected that the paper promised not to publish the data, but only use it for its own (vaguely described) analysis of news events and trends. With the New York fiasco fresh in people's minds, few trusted the paper would keep that promise.

So, the outcry of protest was swift and persuasive: Within days, the BDN promised to withdraw all its outstanding requests and destroy the data it had already received.

With Gov. LePage displaying his own permit at a firearms owners' rally in Augusta, and lawmakers overwhelmingly passing an emergency bill this week to make permit holders' data confidential until a permanent law can be approved, the outcome of this contretemps appears to be far superior to its inception.

And as a cautionary example for those inclined to restrict Mainers' access to firearms in the future, it couldn't have been more effective.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a free-lance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:



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