On April 25, Maine joined at least 25 other states in making concealed-carry permits confidential governmental records.
The very next day, Gov. Paul LePage signed the controversial Freedom of Access Act exception into law. Concealed-carry permits are now the only state-required, state-issued, state-managed and state-enforced permit issued for personal use in Maine.
Questions about the need for such secrecy are being debated now in relation to the proposed 220-mile east-west toll highway that would be built across rural Maine with an estimated $2 billion in private investments and become a link between southwestern New Brunswick and southern Quebec.
Never mind that State Police have never compiled records of all permits, the computer system the agency uses to record the permits it does issue isn’t capable of searching or sorting aggregate data.
Last year, Michael Doyle submitted a request to the town for access to all email addresses contained in a database used by Falmouth officials to send transitory communications — newsletters and the like — to townspeople. He got the list. He also misused the town’s website, which was considered an outrageous overreach of a citizen’s access to municipal information, and further irritates public officials by regularly posting original and fictionalized tales of municipal wrongdoing on his personal blog.