Politics

April 24, 2013

Maine Senate also OKs hiding gun data

Personal information on permit holders will be confidential, but general statistics will be available.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA – A bill to shield identifying information on concealed-handgun permits, strongly supported by Maine's gun-rights community passed the Maine Senate with a two-thirds majority Wednesday, clearing the way for immediate enactment as emergency legislation.

The bill, approved 27-8, will go to Gov. Paul LePage for a signature after procedural votes.

The House approved the bill Tuesday on a 106-40 vote.

The bill, L.D. 345, sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, was backed by the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, the National Rifle Association and the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, among other groups.

It would make names, dates of birth and addresses of permit holders confidential and allow the release of aggregate statistical data.

The gender, places of residence and age ranges of permit holders would also be public.

The bill gained momentum after a public records request by the Bangor Daily News for information on all permits was condemned by Republican lawmakers and LePage.

A March hearing was dominated by gun-rights proponents who supported Wilson's bill. They far outnumbered public-access advocates, led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and media groups.

Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, said Wednesday that the bill is a "reaction to a reaction to a reaction that never really had anything to do with our state."

Gerzofsky said he was concerned that the bill would leave concealed-handgun data in the hands of "Big Brother" and members of the public wouldn't be able to oversee it.

Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, who authored an amendment to the bill providing for the release of aggregate permit data, said her support was secured by testimony from police and domestic violence advocates.

 

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 620-7015 or at:

mshepherd@mainetoday.com

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


Blogs

More PPH Blogs