Oregon State Court May Force Release of Concealed Carry Licensee Information
Hillsbore, OR - Nov. 21: According to KATU-TV in Portland: Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon is warning holders of concealed gun permits that he may be forced to release their personal information to the public based on a recent court order.
The order stems from a case out of Medford where teacher Shirley Katz wanted to bring a gun to school. She argued she needed a gun to protect herself from her ex-husband.
Last year a judge ruled against her - saying the school district has the right to forbid employees from having guns on school property.
In April, the Jackson County sheriff was ordered to release a list of all the concealed handgun license holders to a Medford newspaper. The case is now before the Oregon Court of Appeals.
In the meantime, Gordon plans to send letters to about 10,000 concealed handgun license holders in his county. He wants them to respond whether they want their personal information kept confidential and whether they applied for the license to protect their personal safety.
Here's the sheriff's release:
Notice to All Washington County Concealed Handgun License Holders
On Friday, November 14, 2008, the Sheriff's Office will begin mailing notices to approximately 10,000 Washington County Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders. The notice is a precautionary measure to protect Concealed Handgun License records from disclosure to the public in light of a recent Oregon court decision in Jackson County. CHL holders who want to request protection of their records must respond by mail or use a short form found on the Sheriffís website.
Content of the Notice
There is currently a statewide issue regarding the disclosure of the names, addresses and other identifying information of people who have concealed handgun licenses that affects you. Essentially, several groups are asking for lists of information about all the people who hold concealed handgun licenses. This includes the media, and other groups related to sporting and hunting.
As your sheriff, I refused to disclose that information because I believe many people obtain a concealed handgun license for personal security and would not want that information made public. I also resist disclosing personal information because of the continuing identity theft risks.
Despite my belief (shared by sheriffs across Oregon), an Oregon court recently decided that there is no evidence that people obtain concealed handgun licenses for security measures. The court ordered the Jackson County Sheriff to disclose a list of all the concealed handgun license holders in his county to the local newspaper. The case is now before the Oregon Court of Appeals.
While I believe you obtained your concealed handgun license as a security measure and that you do not want that information disclosed with your name, address and other personal information, I need to hear from you on this issue to help me defend your privacy in this matter.
Please answer the two questions at the bottom of this letter and return it to my office by mail, or visit www.co.washington.or.us/sheriff and complete the short form online as soon as possible. If you want your name and other information to remain confidential, simply answer YES to both questions. Thank you for your cooperation.
Ultimately, we realize the Washington County Sheriffís Office may be required to follow applicable court decisions. However, we hope that by having this additional information from each CHL license holder, we will be able to advocate more fervently for the protection of this sensitive information.