Grass Roots North Carolina sent out an alert this evening urging North Carolinians to write their State Representative and State Senator urging them to support SB 28 and HB 17. A number of sheriffs in the state are now refusing to release this data on public safety grounds. These bills, if passed, will make CHP and pistol purchase permit data private and not subject to the state's version of the Freedom of Information Act.
Several NC Sheriffs refuse to give sensitive information...
According to a recent article in the “The Charlotte Observer,” several of North Carolina's 100 Sheriffs are standing up for your rights by not releasing sensitive information associated with Concealed Handgun Permits which they feel is a breach of privacy and beyond the scope of what is required by laws covered under the Freedom of Information Act.
Citing safety concerns, some have refused requests based on concerns over the identities of victims of domestic violence who still may be in danger, as well as dangers many gun owners would face if the information was made public. Sheriff Alan Cloninger of Gaston County has sent a letter to CHP holders within his jurisdiction explaining his reasoning for not releasing private information, again citing safety concerns. North Carolina Sheriffs, along with many other law enforcement agencies are realizing that the release of such information is not only dangerous but a serious breach of public safety and privacy.
Legislative attempts to stop the pressure
Currently, there are two bills in the North Carolina General Assembly that address this important issue that you need to be aware of: SB 28 and HB 17.
SB 28: "Gun Permit Information/No Publication"(Bingham). Removes concealed handgun permit and handgun purchase permit records from public record, preventing abuses of the information by media outlets such as those by the “Journal News,” WRAL-TV and “The New York Times.” GRNC supports the bill.
HB 17: "Gun Permits/Restaurants & Confidentiality" (Burr, Hager, Hollo, Bell). The restaurant carry language of the bill is identical to what GRNC drafted in HB 111, which failed to pass the Senate last year. The second section removes handgun purchase permit and concealed handgun permit information from public record. GRNC supports the bill.
Your voice must be heard
If left to their own discretion, politicians will cater to the loudest voices. These two Bills are important safeguards against the abuse of sensitive information. Your information should never be used as a way to sensationalize news organizations' efforts to gain ratings as they have so many times before. They don't care about your safety, they care about their own ratings. Your State Senators and Representatives need to know that you are watching these Bills closely, and that they have your support.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
Contact your NC State Senator and tell them to support SB 28
Contact NC State House representative and tell them to support HB 17
Support GRNC: GRNC needs your support to help combat the efforts against your rights as gun owners. Join or renew your membership! http://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/join-grnc-online
SIGN THE “STOP THE GUN BAN” PETITION: Go to: www.StopTheGunBan.org Whether or not you have already signed it, forward this to others and tell them to sign it too.
Find your reps by going to: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Suggested Subject: "Stop Release Of Permit Holder Info"
Dear : Senator or Representative,
I am alarmed at the number of requests by news organizations and others for information about me. As a resident of your district and a concerned gun owner, I find it appalling that news outlets would try to use personal and private information about me to liven up their stories in the hopes of creating a fear-driven ratings boost for them.
Two bills currently active in the North Carolina General Assembly will make information about my status as a Concealed Handgun Permit holder closed to the public eye. I urge you to support and vote for SB28 and HB17 when they come to the floor. The information that news organizations, not to mention anti-gun activists, can and will be used on a wide basis, will not only put my life in danger, but also the lives of my family members.
I cannot stand by and allow this kind of information to become public for all those who happen to ask for it. I will monitor your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.