Jackson County Sheriff must release list of concealed weapons permit holders, Oregon


June 23, 2010, 06:28 PM
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office must release a list of the names of people who received concealed weapons permits issued in 2006 and 2007, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided today.

The Medford Mail Tribune filed a request with the sheriff's office to release a list of licensees after the Medford School District said teacher Shirley Katz could not carry her 9mm Glock handgun to the campus of South Medford High School.

The appeals court upheld a decision by Jackson County Circuit Court which held that concealed weapons permits were not exempt from disclosure.

The sheriff's office had argued, according to today's decision, that "disclosure would unreasonably invade the personal privacy of concealed handgun licensees... and concealed handgun licenses are security measures that are exempt from mandatory disclosure" under Oregon statutes.

The court said that "even though it appears that some applicants may have applied for concealed handgun licenses as a security measure, the sheriff's argument that the security measure exemption applies to all concealed handgun licenses runs into the same problem as the sheriff's personal interest exemption argument.

"However, the record does not establish which individuals obtained concealed handgun licenses as security measures or whether the individuals who did so actually satisfied the requirements of the security measure exemption."

Shirley Katz sued the school district for not allowing her to carry her handgun to school, but a Jackson County Circuit Court judge ruled that she did not have that right. In November 2009, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the court was correct in not allowing her to carry a gun on campus.

"We first made a verbal request to see if Shirley Katz was on that list, and that request was denied,'' said Bob Hunter, the Medford Mail Tribune's editor. "When that failed, we made a written request for all permits issued."

Hunter said the paper never had any intention of publishing the list of names, but wanted the names for news purposes, Hunter said.

"We believed all along that this was a public records issue for us," Hunter said. "Two courts have agreed with us, so far."

Kevin Starrett, director of the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation, a nonprofit gun-rights organization, said the decision was not unexpected. The foundation paid $12,345 for Katz's legal expenses.

"The public records law was intended public entities and government, not the activities of private citizens,'' Starrett said. "We're disappointed that the courts and the legislature can't see the difference."

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters declined to comment on the decision.

--Stuart Tomlinson



For those of us who CCW because of our Spouse's job's exposure to other people... It's just a roadmap to our house.

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June 23, 2010, 06:44 PM
Yes, the (Evil Empire State) of New York recently released the names to a third party who requested them, and now the list is published on a searchable website. And yours truly made the cut. The webmaster's motivation in publishing these names is unclear. I looked up some of my neighbor's names just to see who's armed in the hood, and it looks like I'm alone. It angers me that I'm able to do that. :mad:

What's next, a mandatory CCW tattoo as a condition to carry?

June 23, 2010, 06:53 PM

June 23, 2010, 07:32 PM
So... the State of Oregon wants to publish the names of law-abiding citizens who went through the legal process to obtain a gun permit - while everyone else who carries a gun illegally will continue to remain anonymous?

June 23, 2010, 07:50 PM
Anyone can make an OPRA request and in many cases the agency has no choice but to turn over the information. In reality, much is actually a public document.

However if the lists are released, certain information must be redacted from it.

NJ follows the Federal stands and this is a quick snapshot of their law:

The Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) provides that government records must be made readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination by records requestors, with certain exceptions. OPRA includes twenty-four (24) specific exemptions from disclosure within its many provisions.

If a records custodian is unable to comply with a request for access, the custodian must indicate the specific basis on the request form and promptly return it to the requestor.

The following government records or information are specifically exempt from disclosure and should not be provided to requestors of government records:


1.Inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative or deliberative material
2.Legislative records
3.Law enforcement records:
a.Medical examiner photos
b.Criminal investigatory records (however, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-3.b. list specific criminal investigatory information which must be disclosed)
c.Victims’ records
4.Trade secrets and proprietary commercial or financial information
5.Any record within the attorney-client privilege
6.Administrative or technical information regarding computer hardware, software and networks which, if disclosed would jeopardize computer security
7.Emergency or security information or procedures for any buildings or facility which, if disclosed, would jeopardize security of the building or facility or persons therein
8.Security measures and surveillance techniques which, if disclosed, would create a risk to the safety or persons, property, electronic data or software
9.Information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders
10.Information generated by or on behalf of public employers or public employees in connection with:
a.Any sexual harassment complaint filed with a public employer
b.Any grievance filed by or against an employee
c.Collective negotiations documents and statements of strategy or negotiating
11.Information that is a communication between a public agency and its insurance carrier, administrative service organization or risk management office
12.Information that is to be kept confidential pursuant to court order
13.Certificate of honorable discharge issued by the United States government (Form DD-214) filed with a public agency
14.Social security numbers
15.Credit card numbers
16.Unlisted telephone numbers
17.Drivers’ license numbers
18.Certain records of higher education institutions:
a.Research records
b.Questions or scores for exam for employment or academics
c.Charitable contribution information
d.Rare book collections gifted for limited access
e.Admission applications
f.Student records, grievances or disciplinary proceedings revealing a students’ identification

Anything else is a public document.

June 23, 2010, 08:32 PM
Time to get the publicly available records of addresses and phone numbers for everyone working at the paper and have it published in a private add. Public is public.

June 24, 2010, 03:00 PM
"However, the record does not establish which individuals obtained concealed handgun licenses as security measures or whether the individuals who did so actually satisfied the requirements of the security measure exemption."
To combat this most county sheriff offices in Oregon have forms available (usually on their website) that you can fill out and sign to confirm you got your CHL for personal safety and do not wish to have your information released.

According to the OFF it's not just the names that have to be given to the paper. It's the names, addresses and phone numbers of CHL holders. I hope the Medford Mail Tribune gets sued out of business if they publish that list and someone on it is attacked.


June 24, 2010, 04:27 PM
Time to get the publicly available records of addresses and phone numbers for everyone working at the paper and have it published in a private add. Public is public.


I have suggested the same tactic of posting the personal info of those who were involved in the process of making firearm permit holder's info public. This is childish and retaliatory, but.....not only does it feel good, it also serves to dose them with their own medicine. They probably wouldn't like it.

I say it may be childish, but so what?

June 24, 2010, 04:35 PM
In fact, it's been done: That exact sort of personal information was in fact provided online, and a thread on the entire process was run on THR at some point a year or so ago, when this beast first reared its ugly head. The folks at the newspaper were not amused but continued to pursue the issue. At one point, IIRC, the state Legislature was looking at a bill to block this sort of thing, but I think that it got held up in committee and/or the legislative process, and nothing has come of it of late.

Mike J
June 24, 2010, 05:42 PM
It sounds as if the Sheriff is at least trying to do the right thing. It also sound like time to start lobbying elected officials to get the law changed.

June 24, 2010, 06:22 PM
The problem isn't so much that the information is public, but why do these newspapers want to publish it.

June 24, 2010, 06:34 PM
but why do these newspapers want to publish it.
To "out" those crazy, dangerous gun nuts of course! If their plan works as they hope, those folks will start to be treated with suspicion or fear by their neighbors, friends and co-workers, if they can fuel the fires of hoplophobia enough. OMG he may snap at any moment and he's armed!! :barf:

June 25, 2010, 01:02 AM
But DMV records are not public. What's the difference?

June 25, 2010, 01:56 PM
In Oregon, that's almost but not quite true -- it depends greatly on your definition of "certain/qualified entities." From the DMV's website:

Who can access my Personal Information?
Under Oregon law, only certain entities qualify to receive personal information from DMV records and these entities can only use the information for specific purposes outlined in Oregon’s Record Privacy Law (ORS 802.175 – 802.191). If information is protected under one of these laws, it will not be released unless a requestor qualifies to receive the information.

Can anyone call up and get information on my driving record?
Personal information in driving records is protected and only released to qualified entities under Oregon's Record Privacy Law (ORS 802.175-802.191). These are generally businesses such as law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and attorneys. Personal information is name, address, telephone number and driver license, permit or identification number. Any customer can purchase a sanitized record (a record with no personal information) by making a request and paying the appropriate record fee. Access to confidential information such as your Social Security Number and DMV photograph is highly restricted. Social Security Numbers are only disclosed to qualified government agencies for purposes such as child support enforcement and law enforcement investigations. DMV photographs are only provided to law enforcement officials.

June 25, 2010, 03:34 PM
I am so glad that I'm not teaching high school anymore!

Big Mike
June 25, 2010, 08:33 PM
When I lived in Oregon, I worked for the state and part of my job dealt with addressing and responding to public records requests. As has been previously addressed, this does suck and there are no exemptions in statute that I know of, or other statutes to incorporate a claim exemption, that will ultimately keep this list from being released. Kudos to the Sheriff and I hope he keeps saying, "NO, make me..."

June 26, 2010, 10:36 AM
One positive aspect of this entire bit of business -- if, in fact, something good can come from something so totally onerous -- is that many of the county sheriffs have taken exactly the same stance and have declared, publicly, that they are treating all current and any pending applications for a concealed carry permit as a "personal safety" issue and will not release the information. Of course, this ruling puts that stance in jeopardy, but it was good to see that a number of the sheriffs were adamant about the issue -- and for the right reasons. Compare that reaction to what you often see from our neighbors to the immediate south.

June 26, 2010, 06:29 PM
If it is a public record, (we had the same problem in Ohio a couple of yrs ago), the person/persons who published it and made available has put the gun owners at risk. Any BG that wants to steal a gun knows right where to go. I would think those responsible would be held accountable in court. INAL but it seems to me if someone burglarized my house and my name was was listed in some public record, then used the weapon to rob or kill someone I would be talking with a lawyer to sue the group the made my name a public record.
Some bozo did that in Sandusky OH and the issue of liability came up, then all of a sudden no one is requesting "lists" of legal gun owners.

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