New Bi-Partisan Effort To Protect Gun Owners
From State Representative Kim Thatcher,
(Salem) State Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, St. Paul, Newberg) and State Representative Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) introduced House Bill 2727 today to shield the private information of Oregonians with Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL). “Disclosure defeats the whole point of having a concealed weapons permit,” said Thatcher. “The private information about these Oregon gun owners should also remain concealed.” The measure would prohibit CHL information from being released under the state public record’s law.
House Bill 2727 is co-sponsored by half the members of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and submitted on behalf of Sheriffs across the state. There are more than 109,000 Oregonians with a Concealed Handgun License. Each has undergone an extensive background check and firearms training.
“After more than 31 years in law enforcement in Oregon, I know that law abiding citizens who own guns are not a problem,” said Barker. “Law enforcement knows who has Concealed Handgun Licenses, and that is enough. Citizens deserve privacy and the general public has no legitimate interest in knowing who does and does not have a concealed weapons permit.”
Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree from Representative Thatcher’s legislative district stated; “The statewide issue regarding the potential disclosure of names, addresses and other information for those citizens who have concealed handgun licenses, diminishes the individual’s right to personal privacy and security. The State of Oregon has gone to great lengths to protect private information, like DMV records, to safeguard a citizen’s identification and wellbeing.”
“CHL information should remain private to protect them from potential victimization and to keep that information from becoming used in a negative way by folks who may disagree with the CHL holders constitutional and statutory rights,” said Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon from Representative Barker’s legislative district. “I believe the bill will reduce or eliminate unnecessary litigation and save the taxpayers unnecessary expense.”
“People who apply for concealed handgun licenses assume that their applications and personal information will be kept private. We are encouraged that sheriffs across the state agree,” noted Kevin Starrett, Executive Director of the Oregon Firearms Federation. “Our organization joins with law enforcement agents from all corners of the state to endorse this legislation to protect the privacy of people who are lawfully and safely carrying firearms to protect themselves and others.
We urge all lawmakers to support this effort to protect Oregon’s most responsible and law abiding citizens.”
“I have heard from countless numbers of people from across this state who hope their personal information be kept confidential as it relates to CHLs,” said Russ Isham, Marion County Sheriff. “For us to give out this information, when our community has entrusted us with keeping them safe, goes against what we have been telling all along. In keeping with my obligation to protect our citizens I feel that personal safety trumps the public records requests in this matter and I support keeping this information confidential.”
“Making public the personal information of Concealed Handgun License holders has always been of concern to the National Rifle Association. We applaud Representatives Thatcher and Barker for sponsoring the bill and especially appreciate the support of the Oregon Sheriff’s Association. Passage of this legislation will insure that those who obtain a license out of concern for the security of themselves and their loved ones will no longer have their license information become public record,” explained Rod Harder, Oregon Consultant for National Rifle Association of America Inc.