June 9th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts, CLEAN UP, Legislature

Sheriffs Lose Battle in Salem over Handgun Licenses


Oregon's sheriffs have lost their battle in the Legislature to hide who's getting concealed-handgun licenses, says Sen. Ginny Burdick, an opponent of their proposal.

The Southwest Portland Democrat says House Bill 2727 (PDF) lacked enough support on the Senate floor and effectively died yesterday when it went to the Senate Rules Committee instead.

Oregonian editorial page editor Bob Caldwell and University of Oregon journalism dean Tim Gleason were among those who testified May 21 in Salem against the bill, which resulted from a request for Jackson County's records by the Medford Mail-Tribune.

Multnomah County Sheriff Bob Skipper, who denied WW's request for the names of local concealed-handgun license holders, says he was "disappointed" to hear the bill died.

But Skipper says even now, he still would refuse media requests to reveal who he allows to carry concealed handguns.

Sheriffs statewide, including Skipper, have asked handgun owners why they requested their license and whether they want those records made public. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority responded and said they want their names kept secret.

The sheriffs now say they believe that's legal justification to deny a public-records request — a claim that has not yet been tested in court.
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