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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Debate over release of gun permit databases fires up in Tenn.

For $80.50, the Tennessee Department of Safety will release the name, date of birth, address and permit issue and expiration dates for all gun permit holders. However, obtaining that information may soon be impossible, and printing it may result in a $2,500 fine, the AP reported. A bill to make gun permit databases confidential and publication of them punishable by fines will go before the House Criminal Practice Subcommittee on Wednesday.
Tennessee lawmakers are ready again to try to muzzle state records that list who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, and this time they are considering making it a crime to publish information about gun ownership.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bass, a Democrat from Prospect, would make information on gun permit holders confidential and exempt from the state's open records law. The bill is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday by the House Criminal Practice Subcommittee.

For 12 years, similar legislation has failed to make it to a floor vote, but this year's version has a new twist and a better chance of passage now that Democrats who previously blocked the bill, including former Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, no longer control the House.

More here.

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