Ohio Sheriff sues to stop Right-to-Carry group from getting names of permit holders

This is a weird case, but it seems as if the sheriff is upset about having to provide the names of permit holders to one of the groups that fought for right-to-carry laws. Presumably the group is asking for the names so that they can organize permit holders (fund raising, fight for legislation, etc.). Unlike the mainstream media that has made the names of permit holders public, it is doubtful that the right-to-carry group has that intention. I have two thoughts on this:

1) If the right-to-carry group runs a website or has a newsletter, I don't see how they couldn't be defined as a journalists.
2) I doubt that the sheriff would have brought the suit to stop a "real" media organization from getting these names.

County Sheriff Phil Stammitti sued Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on Wednesday, asking a county judge to declare unconstitutional a 2004 state law that requires Stammitti to provide the names of those who apply for concealed carry permits to journalists.

The lawsuit also asks the court to determine whether Ohioans for Concealed Carry President Jeff Garvas, who also is named in the suit, is a journalist.

Stammitti wants county Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi, who was assigned the case, to decide whether he should be allowed to disclose the names and other information of permit holders to anyone, including journalists.. . . .



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even as an ardent 'pro-gun' individual, I have to say that I support the sheriff on this one...although I suspect you may be right when questioning whether his actions would have been the same had the request come from a 'real' media organization.

However, depending on Ohio law, this data may well be public domain, and legitimately accessible by anyone, and the sheriff should have no authority to interfere...as painful as that may be to permit holders.

We had an ugly situation here in VA, where a writer for the Roanoke Times obtained all our records from the VA State Police, and posted them online for all to peruse at will. Regardless of the righteous anger of many permit holders, it did raise the issue of whether this kind of data should be public domain.

I wuold argue that it should not. This data is not obtained in the public interest, but rather generated by legislated bureaucracy for the ostensible benefit of law enforcement...as ill-reasoned as it may be! I am not being granted a special privilege, or permission, over-and-above that of my fellow citizens...I am receiving tacit acknowledgement that there is no reason to surpress my liberty to exercise my right to bear arms. The forcible intrusion of government into my private life does not extend the same access to all and sundry.

Various gun groups used to use the permit list (responsibly) to communicate with like-minded people for various reasons. They, too, are only citizens, and have no right to access my information without my consent...if I want them to contact me, I'll sign up on a web site. I don't know of any complaints about the way these groups used the data, but the principle still stands...it should not be public data.


4/12/2007 3:48 PM  
Blogger Boone said...

Hello, I saw this entry due to its linking to the chronicletelegram. Anyway, The man from ohioccw (the right to carry group) actually wants to lose this case. It states that in the article. This case has two main components and they are, Who is a journalist and should the govt be allowed to release names of concealed carry holders to anyone with a blog. The who is a journalist question is secondary. The main point is that by releasing a list of persons legally allowed to carry a gun may cause problems, such as a job using that info to discriminate (it does happen) or making these individuals a target for some other action or even crime.

4/12/2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

I guess I feel a little differently on this. I don't want anyone, not journalists, not activists, certainly not the government, (No one) to know that I have a gun. It logically follows that if I have a permit, I also have a gun. That's none of anyone's business.

I'm no conspiracy theorist but I don't want to be on anyone's list. Florida recently ceased allowing access to its database of CCW holders, but not before my name was sold. I now get bombarded with crap in my mailbox nearly weekly with big letters on the outside of the envelope "DEAR CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT HOLDER". Inside is a junk offer for CCW Badges (one of the worst ideas I've ever heard of).

What if my rural mail carrier, for instance, (who should be pretty familiar with when I'm home and when I'm not)decided that he'd like to relieve my home of its aresenal? He certainly now knows that I own weapons, just because of the junk mail I receive. I liken it to advertising that I keep a great deal of jewelry in my home or expensive electronics...my guns are no less valuble to me.

I don't believe that my "right" should be turned into a "privledge" by licensing in the first place, (Vermont seems to be one of the few States to have gotten that part right) but since I must, if I cannot remain totally anonymous, I'd at least like to remain inconspicuous. For States or municipalities to allow access to that information makes that nearly impossible.

I hope I'm wrong, but I honestly believe there will come a day when "the man" comes knocking and he wants my guns. I want to be on as few lists as possible.

Perhaps I'm a bit on the fringe on this matter but the mere fact that someone has good intentions when they obtain my CCW information doesn't in any way lessen my anxiety that they have access to it. I cannot remain anonymous, but they can and I don't really like those odds.

4/14/2007 6:52 AM  

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