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.
Eight days after a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, shooting and killing 20 young students, 6 staff members and fueling a national discussion on gun control, The Journal News in Lower Hudson, New York, published an interactive map of all residents in its community who possessed a firearms permit. The data — initially including the names and addresses of permit holders — had been obtained through the state’s Freedom of Information Law and could have been accessed by anyone upon request. Still, the decision to publish the data in its aggregate appeared to many as an unacceptable and needless invasion of the privacy of gun owners, and sparked a fierce debate over the ethics of such disclosure.