Inside Story: Could Gun Permit List Become GOP Mailing List?
From Phil Williams:
Tuesday, the state Senate takes up a bill that could turn the list of people with gun permits into a state secret.
But, suddenly, some one-time supporters aren't so sure they want that information to be completely closed.
The gun industry has scored some big gains this year with the new Republican-controlled legislature.
But the last big item is that list of the people who have gun permits.
Our own investigations have used that database to find convicted felons who've improperly received gun permits, as well as permit holders who've gone on to commit felonies with their guns.
Still, some gun owners were outraged. They said that list was none of our business and that it ought to be closed to the public.
But after introducing that legislation, the gun lobby may have changed its mind.
On the Tennessee Firearms Association's online forum, the group's lobbyist writes that "there are several organizations that want the database to remain available because they want it for purposes of contacting permit holders directly."
He notes, "Next year is an election year."
But, one gun owner asked, if those organizations are worth their salt, why couldn't they just let permit holders contact them?
To that, the lobbyist replied: "There are a lot of lazy and misinformed gun owners in Tennessee. Sometimes, you have to push the information to them."
He also wrote that the new idea is to find a way to keep the data open, while prohibiting news organizations from posting it on the web.
Which means Republicans would still have access to an incredible mailing list next year as they try to take the governor's office -- and keep control of the the legislature.
In another posting, the gun lobbyist says there also ought to be "hell to pay" for several Republican lawmakers. Those are the ones who voted to let local governments decide if they want to keep guns out of their parks.
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