Concealed Carry and Public Domain

By Beacon Staff
By John Fuller

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox was recently asked by an AP reporter for the names of all concealed carry permit holders.

Unlike his predecessors (all Democrats), Mr. Fox refused to reveal them and instead notified all 56 county sheriffs of the request. Obviously, the reporter had plans to publicize these names.

The only reason this writer can speculate as to why the reporter would want to publicize the names is that by so doing he would hope to harass, intimidate and/or inconvenience the gun owners.

Despite the legitimate complaint of the reporter that such documents are in the public domain under Montana law, this writer has a question.

How would said reporter respond if some other reporters would like to publicize the names of all Medicaid recipients, or all those receiving food stamps?

How would he respond to publicizing the names of all those property owners “living in sin?”

Maybe a reporter should publish the names of all those receiving public assistance that have been convicted of drug offenses.

The aggrieved reporter had better be careful.

What is good for the liberal might also be good for the right-wing, nut-job, bigoted, homophobic, religious conservative.

Maybe some things are nobody else’s business.

By Joe Carbonari

When I see a horse trailer on the road, I often wish that, like on some buses, there was a sign telling me who they are and where they were going.

I’ve had the same sort of thought when I see an especially sleek sports car, particularly roadsters. This is a matter of curiosity, however, not a true need-to-know.

I suspect that in most instances the same is true of concealed carry records.

I’d like to know who among my friends and acquaintances might be quietly “packing,” but it probably is not any more my business than what my neighbor has been searching for on the internet.

If I were to have a heated conversation that put me in physical fear, I’d like to know if my adversary had a weapon on him or her, but the prudent approach would be to assume that they just might, and let that be my guide.

If, however, I could demonstrate that I was under a serious and on-going threat, I’d hope that I could get the attention of, and some informed guidance from, law enforcement.

Should a list of those holding concealed permits be made public and broadly published? I don’t think so.

It would be a violation of privacy.

If we value our own, we must respect others’.

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