The Legislature is inching closer to snuffing out Oregonians' right to know who their sheriffs let carry concealed handguns.
The House judiciary committee yesterday sent a bill to the House floor with a recommendation of "do pass." That bill
(PDF) would make secret who has concealed-handgun permits — unless a sheriff decides it's in the public's interest to know.
But that seems unlikely to happen in most cases — it was the state's sheriffs who pushed for the bill in the first place, after WW
and other papers recently requested
their respective counties' lists.
In Multnomah County, Sheriff Bob Skipper said
he didn't see any public interest in releasing the list when he denied WW
's request. Unless Skipper has a change of heart, the public may never get a chance to know whether he administers Multnomah County's program in compliance with state and federal law.
The handgun rule isn't the only effort
now under way by our elected officials to take away citizens' access to public records. Those records are set to take their place alongside more than 300 other exemptions that have been written into Oregon's formerly progressive public-records law.