Connecticut State Representative Stephen D. Dargan (D-New Haven), co-chairman of the state’s Public Safety Committee, has introduced a bill that would make public the names and addresses of gun permit holders in Connecticut under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Dargan’s bill is in response to the Dec. 14th shootings in the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT, and also occurs as a Westchester County, NY newspaper, the Journal News, is drawing widespread, nationwide anger for publishing a map with the names and addresses of gun permit holders. The bill, if passed, would reverse the state legislature’s decision, made nearly two decades ago, to protect gun permit holders’ personal information from disclosure.
“Most things are FOIA-able now,” Dargan said in an interview Thursday. ”Go to the local city clerk’s office and you can find out where Steve Dargan owns property. I don’t know why a responsible gun owner is worried about whether a permit for a revolver is FOIA-able or not.”
Dargan added that in a “computer age” it is reasonable for people to want to know gun ownership information. “Maybe their kids are going over to Johnny Smith’s and maybe they want to see whether they have guns in the house.”
The names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in Connecticut, now kept confidential by law, could be made public under a proposed bill that pits gun owners against would-be reformers in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, co-chairman of the legislature’s public safety committee, would make public the names and addresses of permit holders under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act — and would reverse lawmakers’ decision to protect that personal information from disclosure nearly two decades ago.
As controversial as his proposal might become, as he says, it might or might not be part of the solution as the General Assembly gets back to work next week.
“Whether it’s taxing ammunition or limiting the number of magazines that are out there,” Dargan said, “and there’s a number of other bills.”
In both states, the central question is whether the public interest in knowing how many guns are spread through communities is outweighed by the privacy rights of people exercising their constitutional right to own guns.
Poll: Should Handgun Permit Holders’ Names Be Made Public?
A West Haven legislator wants to make public the names and addresses of permit holders under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act.
– Laura Bow