Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Defending yourself and protecting your privacy

While looking at information for my recent posts about Ohio gun legislation, I saw that another front on which pro-freedom advocates are fighting in that state is for protection of the privacy of those who receive (or at least apply for) concealed carry permits. As the law currently stands, newspapers can obtain lists of licensees and applicants, and print them in the paper. Several have done just that, on a wholesale basis. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has been especially egregiously abusive of its access to that information, and published the identities of license holders in nearly a dozen counties.

Help may be on the way, though--an amendment to Ohio House Bill 9 would make provisions for licensees to opt out of allowing public access to this very private information. The bill passed the Ohio House, but has languished in the Senate. The Plain Dealer, by the way, is in a tizzy about the whole idea of people having privacy.

It should go without saying that this information is none of the general public's business. The argument that people have "a right to know" who is carrying a firearm is hogwash, on several counts. The idea behind carrying a CONCEALED weapon is that the public doesn't know about it--the purpose in concealing the weapon is utterly defeated if that information is made public. Besides, publishing that information would only reveal which people are licensed to carry--it does nothing to tell who is carrying illegally (the people about whom one might have a legitimate reason to be concerned), nor does the fact that someone obtained the permit necessarily mean he or she is actually carrying, or even owns a firearm.

People who live in states where this information is not protected might consider applying for a non-resident permit from another state whose permits are honored in his or her home state (note: some states--Florida, Michigan, and New Hampshire, for example--although they honor some other states' permits, only do so for residents of those states). Even if that state does not protect that information either, it's unlikely that a local paper would go to the trouble of obtaining that information, sorting through it all, and publishing it. Until the law protects your privacy, see what you can do to protect it yourself.

3 comments:

hairy hobbit said...

The PD, and any other paper printing the lists, is helping criminals locate guns. Anything comes up stolen they should be hit with a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange that in New York, the gun lobby is actually fighting for the *release* of this very information, so they can run direct mail to the permitholders?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/473991p-398748c.html

If the public wants the info, it's "how dare they give away my privacy," but if the gun lobby wants it, it's "we need this information for education." Choose a side and stick to it, please.

45superman said...

Anonymous, I have to confess to not having much of an answer to that. I suppose it could be argued that the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is clearly fighting for the interests of gun owners in New York, while no such justification exists for most other advocates of publicizing that information. That argument is, I acknowledge, somewhat suspect.

I would characterize the NYSRPA's gambit as a rather poor tactical move.