November 16th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts

Same as the Old Boss: New Sheriff Keeps Concealed Handgun-Holders Secret


Continuing a trend that started with his predecessor, interim Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton is refusing to reveal the names of people his office has licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

The county attorney's office told WW this morning that Staton "has determined that the list of names requested is exempt from public disclosure" under the state's open-records law.

Prior Multnomah County sheriffs have released the list upon request, and for years the application form handed out by the sheriff's office declared "this application is public record" in bold letters on the front page.

Deputy Travis Gullberg, former spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, told a reporter in 2007 "you can't get away from the fact that it's a public record."

But former Sheriff Bob Skipper reversed history when he took office last year. Following a statewide trend toward keeping the records secret, Skipper refused to hand over the list pursuant to a WW request. He was backed up by the county attorney's office.

So, for anyone interested in checking how well the sheriff's office is administering this program — tough luck.

Mandatory disclaimer: There's been no indication the sheriff's office is doing wrong. But public oversight is now effectively impossible.

There's no way for us to determine whether the sheriff is giving handgun licenses to convicted felons and domestic-violence offenders in violation of the law. Or whether he's discriminating by refusing to give handgun licenses to a certain class of people.

If you're a parent and want to know whether your spooky neighbor is packing heat? You can forget about that, too.
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