Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Privacy Bill for Oregon CHL Holders Introduced

In previous blog entries I’ve detailed the ongoing controversy in Oregon regarding the potential release of the names of CHL holders. The entire issue began when the anti-firearm Medford Mail Tribune sought the records after OFF provided legal aide to a Medford area teacher who sued the school district for their denial of her rights as a CHL holder. Two state representatives, Kim Thatcher from House District 25 and Jeff Barker from House District 28 have introduced House Bill 2727 to protect the identities of CHL holders. This bill has wide bi-partisan support in the Oregon Legislature and is also widely supported by Sheriff’s departments across the state.

Kim Thatcher’s press release had several excellent quotes that detail the importance and purpose of this bill:

“After more than 31 years in law enforcement in Oregon, I know that law abiding citizens who own guns are not a problem. 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.” - Jeff Barker

“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.” - Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree

"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." - Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon

It is statements like these that make me proud to be an American and an Oregonian. Too often we see the example set by the big city law enforcement community that has no respect for the Second Amendment and individual rights. I find it both refreshing and encouraging to see how broadly in Oregon our rights are understood and respected.

The full list of co-sponsors is:

“BENTZ, BOONE, BRUUN, CAMERON, CLEM, ESQUIVEL, FREEMAN, GARRARD, GILLIAM, GILMAN, HANNA, HUFFMAN, JENSON, KENNEMER, KRIEGER, MATTHEWS, MAURER, OLSON, RICHARDSON, ROBLAN, SCHAUFLER, G SMITH, J SMITH, SPRENGER, THOMPSON, WEIDNER, WHISNANT, WINGARD, WITT, Senators ATKINSON, BOQUIST, FERRIOLI, GEORGE, GIROD, JOHNSON, KRUSE, MORSE, NELSON, PROZANSKI, STARR, TELFER, VERGER, WHITSETT (at the request of Oregon Sheriff’s In Action)”

If your representative isn’t on the list, please write them and encourage them to support this vital piece of legislation. If your representative IS on this list, please write them and THANK them for their support! I hope this bill will sail through the legislature and is signed into law quickly. It would represent a vital victory for Oregon CHL holders!

Until next time!!!

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