Think the Register got too much private info? Records prove they wanted MORE
Ottawa County Sheriff Robert Bratton has posted The Sandusky Register's June 6 request for the list of concealed handgun license-holders on the official website of the Ottawa County Sheriff.
The request letter reveals that the Sandusky Register didn't stop at asking for the private information allowed journalists in the media access loophole. Rather, the newspaper asked for the home address of each and every licensee!
Click 'Read More' for the complete story, and for text of the Sandusky Register's revealing letter.
Ohio law considers ALL concealed handgun license records to be confidential - not subject to the state's open records laws. However, an exception was offered to journalists to review the information to address their assertions of a need for "checks and balances". It is important to note that even with this media access loophole, which allows the release of the name, age and county of residence of CHL-holders to journalists upon request, that CHL holders' information is NOT A PUBLIC RECORD by statute.
Indeed, you, the public, through your elected representatives, decided the information that HAS been released by the Sandusky Register (the name, age and county of residence of CHL-holders in five north-central Ohio counties) should NOT BE MADE PUBLIC.
Despite the clear decision of the people, however, Register Editor Matt Westerhold made the decision to reveal that confidential information, and if it wasn't for the watchful eye of Sheriff Bratton and the other county sheriffs who received requests from Editor Westerhold, there is every reason to believe that the Sandusky Register would have published thousands of gun owners' home addresses, just as the Sidney Daily News did for 87 persons back on June 8, 2004.
The following is the complete text of the revealing letter posted by Ottawa County Sheriff Robert Bratton.
June 6, 2007
Ottawa County Sheriff Robert L. Bratton
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office
325 Madison St.
Port Clinton, OH 43452
Re: Concealed carry names, Ohio Revised Code 2923.129 (B)(2)
Dear Sheriff Bratton:
I am writing to you on behalf of myself in my position as a reporter and on behalf of my employer, the Register, a daily newspaper published in Sandusky and located at 314 W. Market St. to request the names, dates of birth and addresses of all individuals who have been granted permits by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office to carry concealed weapons.
This request is made under Ohio Revised Code 2923.129 (B)(2) and we are seeking the information in the public interest. It is my understanding that the information should be provided in a timely manner and I am requesting to receive it on or before Monday, June 18, 2007.
Please contact me at 419-625-5500 Ext. 307, or contact my editor, Matt Westerhold at 419-609-5866 or 419-357-5051 if any further information is needed, or if you foresee any difficulties in complying with this request.
Thank you in advance.
Reporter, Sandusky Register
cc: Prosecutor, Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office
Click here to view the letter on Sheriff Bratton's website.
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this inexcusable attack on your rights. We need your help in this battle as we prepare to implement our next steps.
Sandusky Register Editor Matt Westerhold Declares War on Gun Owner Privacy