Politics

February 16, 2013

LePage moves to block data on concealed-weapon permits

The governor's emergency bill is a response to a Bangor newspaper's now-rescinded request for public information on permit holders.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Gov. Paul LePage displays his concealed-carry permit in a photo posted to his Twitter account on the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. “If newspapers want to know who has concealed weapons permits, they should know I do,” LePage tweeted.

Contributed photo

Anthony Ronzio, the director of news and new media for the Bangor Daily News

Carl D. Walsh / Staff Photographer

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The bill submitted by LePage on Friday would immediately halt the release of information on individual permit holders, according to his spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett. The bill is designed to be a temporary measure, she said.

The bill is co-sponsored by Aroostook County Sen. Troy Jackson, the assistant Senate majority leader, and Skowhegan Democratic Rep. Jeff McCabe, the assistant House leader.

Bennett said the governor hopes the bill will be enacted as early as Tuesday. Details have not yet been released.

The administration said the bill would "provide immediate protection for law-abiding concealed-weapon permit holders" while lawmakers consider Wilson's bill, also an emergency measure.

One of the new requests for information on concealed-weapon permit holders was submitted from a gmail account, "CelebrationConnect@gmail.com." The request, sent to the Maine State Police, has no other identifying information other than an email address. Emails sent to the gmail account Friday were bounced back as undeliverable.

Dan Heskett, a native Mainer who moved to Celebration, Fla., in 2012, said he registered the domain name celebrationconnect.com at the time of his move, but said he didn't submit the FOAA request.

Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said State Police will "review" the request and probably won't make a determination whether to provide the information before next week.

State House Bureau Writer Steve Mistler can be reached at 620-7016 or at:

smistler@pressherald.com

On Twitter: @stevemistler

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