Open Government Legislation

SB 60 – Concealed Handgun License Secrecy Bill (2013-2014)

Link to Bill:
http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_SB_60
Status:
Failed
Summary:

SB 60 removes the exemption that currently allows journalists to view the name, county, and date of birth of individuals that have had a concealed handgun license issued, renewed, suspended, or revoked by the sheriff.

Primary Sponsors:
Secondary Sponsors:
,
Committee:
Criminal Justice (S)
LSC Legislation Status:
http://lsc.state.oh.us/coderev/sen130.nsf/Senate+Bill+Number/0060?OpenDocument
Jurisdiction/Legislation Level:
State
Our take on this bill:

SB 60’s removal of journalists’ ability to view records on concealed handgun licenses is ultimately a blow to government transparency. Transparency empowers citizens to combat problems that come with too much government secrecy, such as mismanagement and abuse of power, and the press is often the eyes and ears of the public. With the public unable to access much information related to handgun licensing, the press is even more important. While there are privacy concerns about these records being open to inspection, current law already prohibits journalists from copying the information that is viewed and provides limited information. Removing journalists’ ability to even view basic information regarding concealed handgun licensing puts up a wall between the public and the government, eliminating an important avenue to ensure the integrity of an important licensing system.