For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - In a 10-3 vote, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee endorsed LD 345, a bill introduced by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) to make private the personal identifying information of concealed handgun permit holders in Maine. The bill will now go to the House and Senate for floor votes.
"I'm very pleased that the committee approved a bill that's true to the original intent of my legislation," said Wilson. "I felt strongly that, by default, no Mainer should have to worry about his or her concealed handgun permit becoming public knowledge."
Rep. Jarrod Crockett (R-Bethel), House Republican Lead on the Judiciary Committee, added that the vote gained a solid consensus of committee members. "After a long series of hearings and meetings to craft an amended bill, we're all happy that the final vote shows strong, bipartisan support for it," he said.
The majority report of the committee is an "Ought to Pass" report on Wilson's LD 345 as amended by Sen. Linda Valentino (D-Saco), the committee's senate chair. The Valentino amendment allows for the disclosure of aggregate data, including the number of permits applied for, approved, denied, and revoked by an issuing authority, as well as dates of permit issuance and expiration.
Wilson and Crockett say that the concerns of public disclosure advocates will be assuaged by the amended bill because it allows for the release of some non-identifying aggregate data that was previously confidential.
"As evidenced by the entire House Republican caucus co-sponsoring Wilson's bill, Republicans are taking a stand for personal privacy and against the suppression of our right to bear arms that comes when the government shares this information," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport).
The amendment submitted by Rep. Charles Priest (D-Brunswick), which is the minority report, would have kept the personal identifying information of concealed handgun permit holders open for all to see, and would have come with a significant fiscal note which would likely have resulted in the bill failing altogether. Rep. Kim Monaghan-Derrig (D-Cape Elizabeth) and Matthew Moonen (D-Portland) joined Priest in voting for the minority report.
David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793