Ohio Newspaper Association advising members to compile lists of CHL applicants

UPDATE: See below for an attorney's analysis of this latest move by the Ohio Newspaper Association.

The Ohio Newspaper Association is continuing it's war against some of their most responsible readers.

Apparently, this organization hasn't even a shred of the concern expressed by this Ft. Wayne, IN newspaper, which changed it's mind about intentions to publish lists after hearing from over 3000 people, 95% opposed to such an invasion of privacy.

The Delaware Gazette, an ONA member, quotes ONA "legal counsel" advising newspapers to collect the names of every person who applies for a concealed handgun license.

"Editor Larry Gibbs said the Gazette will request copies of all applications made to [Delaware Co. Sheriff] Myers' office, as advised by legal counsel for the Ohio Newspaper Association. A decision about printing applicants' names and addresses has not been made." (the decision HAS been made at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch, and Elyria Chronicle - these Rotten Apples committed to publishing names within hours or days of the passage of HB12)

"'If we do decide to print the information, we will treat it like all other public records,' Gibbs said. 'We’ll list all applicants; we won’t pick and choose."

How nice. Mr. Gibbs assures that even people who would severely endangered by being listed in such a manner will get no consideration. As noted above, the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel's main reason for deciding not to publish was the potential for "outing" a victim of violence who is doing everything she can not to be found by her stalker.

What if the violent stalker who was shot by this Indiana woman had known in advance that she was carrying? ''God's grace'' (and concealed firearm) saves Indiana woman's life

The editor of Ohio newspapers that do publish these lists, and the leadership of the Ohio Newspaper Association, could care less about women like this who live in Ohio, and they could care much less about their readers' opinions: Rotten Apples and Sour Grapes

You can make a difference in Ohio: Join the Ohio Media Monitoring Task Force


Op-Ed: If the media is watching Big Brother, who is watching them?

March 26, 2004

Mr. Gibbs:

You were quoted in this article as stating that you would request application material from the Sheriff's office.

"Editor Larry Gibbs said the Gazette will request copies of all applications made to [Delaware Co. Sheriff] Myers’ office, as advised by legal counsel for the Ohio Newspaper Association. A decision about printing applicants’ names and addresses has not been made."

Please be advised that said request would be illegal, and if the Ohio Newspaper Association is advising their membership to do this, someone should contact them with more accurate legal advice.

HB12 established Ohio Revised Code Section 2923.129(B)(2), which provides that, upon appropriate written request, the sheriff shall disclose the name, count of residence and date of birth of each person to whom the sheriff has issued a license or replacement license, etc..... Violation of division B is a fifth degree felony. Further, a private cause of action is granted anyone harmed by a disclosure in violation of division B. This section also imposes a civil fine on the Sheriff's department employee who provides unauthorized disclosure.

It would certainly appear that requesting or disclosing *APPLICATIONS* is a felony under the bill, as would disclosing *ADDRESSES*. The items permitted to be disclosed to journalists are clearly outlined in the bill, and include only the name, county of residence and date of birth for each person issued a permit.

Other comments by Prosecutor Yost in that same article also seem to be based upon misunderstanding.

Should you have any other questions about HB12, I would be glad to answer any questions. I have been extensively lecturing at competency classes on the legal requirements of HB12, and I have developed a 16 page summary of HB12, which may be freely used by the public. Please ask if you have any doubts, the implementation of this law is already fraught with confusion, and I'd love to see accurate information in order to smooth this process as much as possible.

Ken Hanson Esq.
Firestone and Brehm Ltd.
15 West Winter Street
Delaware, Ohio 43015

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