AP and MuckRock News Try to “Out” Montana‘s Concealed Weapons Permit Holders
By Jerry A. Kane
A few months back, the Associated Press (AP) and MuckRock News asked the Montana Department of Justice (MDOJ) for the names and the personal information of the people who hold concealed weapons permits (CWPs).
“We’d like all public information included on each permit holder, including, but not limited to: last name, first name, middle, street address, city, employer, age or DOB, driver’s license number, date of application.”—March 18 email from Matt Gouras, AP reporter
When asked why Gouras requested the highly personal information from MDOJ, AP Rocky Mountain bureau chief Jim Clarke said, “We do not comment on ongoing reporting efforts.”
MDOJ received a similar request April 30 from Boston-based MuckRock News asking for a list of the state’s CWP holders. MuckRock News requests and gathers information from government entities, and helps journalists and news agencies file Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain public records.
MuckRock News also requested a fee waiver from MDOJ. The news agency said the fees should be waived because the personal information on the state’s CWP holders is in “the public interest.”
Republican Attorney General Tim Fox denied the request, saying “that the privacy of permit holders exceeds the public’s right to know.”
Earlier this year, the legislature passed and the governor signed SB 145 to make “all information pertaining to CWP holders confidential.” The law takes effect October 1.
“Montana is also the only state that has a constitution that explicitly guarantees the right to privacy.”—Gary Marbut, Montana Shooting Sports Association President
Marbut argues that publishing the names and personal information of CWP holders not only puts them at risk, but it also shows criminals where their guns are located.
“Think of an abused woman who has to take out a restraining order. You don’t want the abuser to know that she has a gun. There is also a tactical advantage to a potential assailant not knowing if their target is armed.”—Gary Marbut
In trying to “out” Montana’s concealed weapons permit holders, AP and MuckRock News have shown that they are fully complicit the concerted jihad against American gun owners.
For more on the story, see “Associated Press Refuses to Comment on Demand for Concealed Weapon Permit Lists” and “Montana AG Denies Associated Press Request for Records on All Concealed Weapons Permit Holders.”