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Concealed weapon emergency legislation passes

Governor Paul LePage's "emergency" legislation that will block the release of concealed firearms permit holders’ names, addresses and dates of birth to the public, sponsored by the state senate's assistant majority leader, Troy Jackson (D-Allagash), has passed. (In case you're wondering, Jackson is no LePage lackey, he's battled with the governor on other issues in the past.)

Portland state Representative Diane Russell's bill, which would have amended that legislation to include not just concealed-weapon permit information but also details about hunting and business licenses, was denied a roll-call vote. (Which means legislators didn't want their consitutents knowing how they came down on the issue.) Russell's bill came after more than 1400 people signed -- in less than 24 hours -- a petition stating that "concealed weapons permit holders should not be given special treatment." The Lewiston Sun Journal ran an editorial on Sunday with a similar theme

Here's a statement from the executive director of Maine's Majority, Chris Korzen:

"It doesn't seem right to exempt one group of Mainers from the Freedom of Access Act without offering the same privilege to everyone. Despite today's action, holders of hunting, and business licenses - as well as state employees - can still have their personal information revealed under the act.

Either we believe that the public has a right to know about the business of government or we don't. But one thing we can't do is let politics dictate which groups get special treatment. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened today."
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