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As Maine Goes, So Goes Arkansas in the Fight Between Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know

News Photo-Susan Patten/Townsquare Media

First it happened in New York state when a newspaper there published the names and home addresses of law-abiding citizens in that state who held concealed weapons permits. It caused outrage and protests.

Then, the Bangor Daily News used the Freedom of Information Act to request information on concealed weapons permit carriers in Maine, although they said they had no intention of ever publishing the information. That lead many to question why they requested the information in the first place. The BDN mantains it was for more thorough reporting on topics such as domestic violence and drug cases. Simliar public outrage resulted in the BDN recinding its request.

Governor Paul LePage initiated legislation to place a moratorium of sorts on the information and the approved law went into effect immediately, but only until April 30th.

In Arkansas, that state legislature also voted for legislation to block information on concealed weapons permit carriers from becoming public, but not before a business editor in that state published the information.

Public outrage also forced the publication to pull the information but the editor still says she’ll send it to anyone requesting it. Some suggest that will be the criminals.

Some people suggest the recent push to publish names of concealed weapons permit carriers is a fear-mongering attempt to vilify law-abiding citizens, in an attenpt to drum up support for gun control policies. What do you think?


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