Maine Hides Gun Permit IDs After Newspaper Request

Governor signs emergency measure into law

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 20, 2013 10:19 AM CST

(Newser) – New Maine legislation keeps the identities of those with concealed-carry permits under wraps—at least for now. Both houses of the state legislature easily passed the emergency measure, signed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage yesterday, after the Bangor Daily News last week requested data on permit holders and "a little-known Florida man" did the same, the Portland Press Herald reports. It's the first time since 2003 that a bill has sought to protect permit holders' identities.

While the state's Senate Republican leader called the move a "common-sense measure," others suggested political motives. "This is not an emergency, this is a political emergency," said a state House Democrat. (The legislation was actually sponsored by two Democrats.) The identity-shielding measure will be in effect until April 30, USA Today notes, which lawmakers say gives them time to debate a permanent ban on releasing IDs under the state's Freedom of Access Act. The move follows controversy over a New York newspaper's publishing of a gun-owner map.

In this photo tweeted by Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine governor displays his concealed firearms permit, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Augusta, Maine.
In this photo tweeted by Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine governor displays his concealed firearms permit, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Augusta, Maine.   (AP Photo/Maine Governor's Office, ho)
Gov. Paul LePage delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.
Gov. Paul LePage delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
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