Gun owners packed a hearing room this week to urge Oregon lawmakers to prevent the public release of information about concealed weapons permit holders, reports the Associated Press. Some said releasing the information would jeopardize their personal security; others testified there’s no good reason to make the records available. “It’s like publishing a shopping list for criminals,” Matt Klein of Eugene told the House Judiciary Committee.
Sponsors of the legislation said it’s needed because newspapers and others have been trying to get lists of people who have concealed handgun permits. That has led to a separate legal challenge pending in the state appeals court. Gun rights groups hope the Legislature will end the issue by enacting a law to block the release of those records. Open-government advocates have argued, though, that the concealed weapons permits always have been an open record. Last December, sheriffs around Oregon sent letters to concealed weapon permit holders, asking whether they want the information released if it is requested as a public record. Several sheriffs who testified Tuesday said the response was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping those records from being released.