By Chris Korzen (Contact)
To be delivered to: The Maine State House, The Maine State Senate, and Governor Paul LePage
On Tuesday, February 19th, the Maine Legislature will take up an "emergency" measure exempting concealed weapons permit holders from our Freedom of Access Act (FOAA). This means that for 60 days, the public will not be able to know who possesses a concealed carry permit. The Legislature will likely take up a permanent measure in the coming weeks, but by then a dangerous precedent will have been set. The emergency bill will not be given a hearing, and the public will not be invited to comment.
Maine's Freedom of Access law covers a whole range of information, from hunting and fishing licenses to emergency dispatch records. It's based on the premise that government shouldn't be doing business in secret. It allows only very limited exceptions - to people such as recipients of protection orders - who might be in danger if their private information got into the wrong hands.
Concealed weapons permit holders are not in danger and do not need special protections that the rest of us do not have. Please join us in asking the Legislature to apply our Freedom of Access Law to all citizens equally.
For more information see http://www.sunjournal.com/news/our-view/2013/02/17/guarding-our-right-public-access/1321821.
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