Lawmaker Moves to Protect Concealed Carry Info

Rep. Randy Stewart
Rep. Randy Stewart

Word around town is that lawmakers are developing legislation to limit the amount of information that’s publicly available on concealed carry permit holders.

Rep. Randy Stewart, a Democrat representing District 23, confirms he expects to introduce the bill on Wednesday. Stewart says it’s “simply a bill to prohibit the release of the identities or other information concerning concealed handgun licensees with an exception for law enforcement agencies.”

The news will warm the hearts of members of the Arkansas Concealed Carry Association, who’ve been calling for just such an action.

The move to protect the records follows last week’s controversy in which Max Brantley at the Arkansas Times published the full list of permit holders, to the alarm and consternation of many. (He’s since removed the list from his site.) You can listen to Max explain his reasoning on Bob Steel’s KARN show this morning.

(Has this been reported anywhere else yet? I haven’t seen it, but that doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes I zone out on legislative coverage, and I just find it impossible to believe that I, the laziest blogger in the entire state of Arkansas, might have something first. That doesn’t happen. If someone else had it first, blogger or real media, let me know and I’ll link to it.)

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12 thoughts on “Lawmaker Moves to Protect Concealed Carry Info

  • February 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm
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    I think you got this one Kinkade. I heard it would be filed but not with a legislators name and date yet. You better be careful with this or the next thing you know you will find yourself in the capital building holding a flip cam.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm
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    A thoroughly implausible scenario for the laziest blogger in the entire state, Jason, and you damn well know it.
    D.

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  • February 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm
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    Where is the well deserved praise for this gun loving Democrat?

    find me an elected Repub who can out shoot Rep Randy…..

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  • February 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm
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    BR549, I believe your old state rep. Randy Minton was the best shot to ever serve in the state house.

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  • February 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm
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    Great news!

    Yay for secrecy!

    I wish I was the enterprising clerk who’ll turn doling out concealed-carry licenses into a personal fundraiser just like that chick at the DFA.

    I’m also glad to see that Arkansawyers are so comfortable with big government that they trust those clerks and bureaucrats will be making sure there’s no hanky panky with gun permits.

    Socialism, here we come!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm
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    Bravo.

    I almost beat you to it but I was feeling pretty lazy today myself.

    Oh well.

    At least I can claim that the ARCCA blog caught max in the act. LOL.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm
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    Wait a minute I did beat you. Your post was at “February 24, 2009 4:53 pm” and mine was posted “02 24 2009, 16:48”

    LOL.

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  • February 24, 2009 at 9:43 pm
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    I think you’re full of it, Anderson. My clock doesn’t even go to 16; it stops at 12.
    D.

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  • February 25, 2009 at 6:20 am
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    Wow, Max is on the Times blog about this. It sounds like he has had a pretty rough go of it over this and I do hate that for him. Freedom requires responsible behavior. Both the 1st and 2nd Amendment extend only to the point where they infringe on the rights of others.

    I believe Max was wrong to publish the list. Those were private individuals who did not intend for their home addresses to be published. They had a certain expectation of privacy. Yes, they knew that their addresses would be available and that certain persons would know that they had a gun. But they did not expect that information to be published in this manner. Honestly, who would?

    The concealed carry permit is an agreement between the gun owner and the state. It does not grant a person any right. In fact, it is perfectly legal to carry a weapon. What the permitting system does is grant an exemption to what would otherwise be criminal activity, i.e. having a loaded and concealed handgun. The state grants you a special privilege when you complete training and register with the ASP. I think the privilege granted is analogous to a driver’s license. A concealed carry permit gives you a privilege, just as a drivers license gives you a privilege to drive on our roads. You can own a car and not have a drivers license just as you can own a gun and not have a concealed permit. As part of the licensing procedure, you know that your information could be shared with others and that it is, more or less, public and subject to disclosure. But you would never expect a responsible news publication to print all of the information that the state gathers about you in the process of granting you those privileges.

    But aside from that, there are two things here that bother me. One is the reaction people have had to Max’s decision to post information. If what he says is true, and I have no doubt that it is, the people threatening him should face charges. Not only is it horribly inappropriate, to say the least, it is also pretty danged cowardly. Those persons doing such things give the responsible permit holders a bad name.

    The second thing that bothers me is that this information may now become private. I agree with Max that this information should be public. I do not agree with him that he had a right to do what he did. There is a major difference in the two. We have a right to know what our government is doing, including who it is giving special privileges to. Max went too far and I do believe he may have opened both himself and his paper up to lawsuits because of the publication of the addresses. But that’s where the matter should resolve itself, in the courts. If someone was harmed by his actions, then they should find recourse in the courts.

    The Second Amendment is there to protect us against our government. Just as important as our ability to protect ourselves is our ability to gather knowledge of what our government is doing. How can we protect ourselves from threats if we do not know about them? An open government and freedom of speech are critical. This permitting process should be open and the names of permit holders should be known. But honestly, when someone abuses their right, as I believe was done here, then these draconian reactions happens. Drastic measures are put into place that often stifle freedom of information out of the need to protect innocent citizens that never intended to have their personal information splashed across the web where nefarious types could find it. In the end, none of us are served by any of it.

    I think Max stepped over the line here. It was a dumb move and a pyrrhic victory for free speech. He was making a political point that backfired. His discretion was lacking and I imagine he regrets it even if he wouldn’t admit it. But two wrongs do not make a right. Those of us who cherish our liberties should do better and take the high road. If you have a problem with what he did, settle it within the boundaries of our judicial system as society and civilization expects. Let us not overreact to the detriment of all.

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  • April 1, 2009 at 7:56 pm
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    Rex,

    According to the US Constitution, my carrying a weapon for defense is NOT a special privledge; it is my right. The fact that you think I need special permission to protect myself just shows how far this government has gone to limit my innate rights as a living being for the sake of “safety.”

    It’s none of your business if I have a gun. You can guarantee that if anything happens to my family because at their attempt to make money I will hold EVERYONE at the Arkansas Times responsible. I mean everyone, from Max to the janitor-right down to the guy who stocks the papers at the local pizza place.

    Don’t like it. Don’t mess with my family.

    Reply

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