Flores Seeks Protection For Gun Owner Information
By State Representative Linda Flores,
(Salem) In light of a Southern Oregon newspaper gaining access to a list of Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders, State Representative Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) announced today, she is drafting legislation to keep that information confidential. “Many of these people get CHLs because they are worried about their safety, whether it’s from a stalker, a case of domestic violence, or some other threat,” said Flores. “Making their names, addresses and other records public might jeopardize their security.” The Flores’ bill would be introduced in the 2009 Legislative session.
Last week a court sided with the Medford Mail Tribune in their request for a list of concealed handgun licenses in Jackson County in relation to their coverage of a local school teacher. Two dozen states already have laws protecting these records and several more are considering legislation to keep the information confidential. The National Rifle Association has proposed similar legislation in Oregon in the past and still supports the concept.
“I resent information being published because there is no reason anyone except the police should have it,” said Lila Leathers who does business in Representative Flores’ area. She has held a CHL for approximately 15 years. “We have concealed carry permits for a reason. Making that information public puts us at a disadvantage.”
Kevin Starrett, with Oregon Firearms Federation, said, “Representative Flores not only understands the importance of keeping gun owners’ information private, but she has the courage to back it up with action. When media outlets seek the names, addresses, and occupations of persons with concealed handgun licenses, we have to wonder about their motives. We commend Representative
Flores for her leadership on this issue.”
“We’re talking about responsible gun owners; law-abiding citizens who have taken the time and effort to undergo the proper training and licensing,” explained Flores. She supports the right to free speech and public records’ laws, however as she put it, “you have to draw the line sometimes in the interest of protecting the individual.” She added, “this isn’t about the right to bear arms; this about the permit holders’ privacy.”
Representative Flores has a strong track record in support of the Second Amendment and recently joined a lawsuit against the gun ban in Washington, D.C. In recent years, several bills have come before the House Judiciary Committee involving CHL. Flores is a member of that Committee.