Louisiana Passes Law Criminalizing Journalists Who Publish Identity of Gun Permit Holders, Applicants

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Gov. Bobby Jindal (photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia)

Journalists in Louisiana who publish the identity of individuals who possess or have applied for concealed handgun permits can now be fined or thrown in jail.

 

Republican Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation last week that outlaws the publishing of “any information regarding the identity of any person who applied for or received a concealed handgun permit.”

 

Doing so can mean jail sentences of up to six months and fines of $10,000.

 

The only exceptions are cases where the concealed handgun holder is charged with a felony offense involving the use of a firearm.

 

Proponents said they were motivated by the actions of The Journal News of White Plains, New York, which published the names and addresses of people who had conceal carry permits in their area last year. That information was obtained legally through open public records.

 

In Louisiana, however, information about conceal carry permits is closed to the public.

 

Several newspapers have voiced concerns or opposition to the new law.

 

Carl Redman, executive editor of the Baton Rouge Advocate and chairman of the Louisiana Press Association’s Freedom of Information Committee, told lawmakers at a legislative hearing in May that he found it “very ironic that the very people who screamed the loudest about attempts to limit their Second Amendment rights are here eager to limit my First Amendment rights.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Just Like That, Louisiana Has Criminalized Journalism (by Matt Gertz, AlterNet)

Top News Editors Criticize Louisiana Gun Information Law That Criminalizes Journalists (by Joe Strupp, Media Matters for America)

Louisiana Criminalizes Publishing Gun Permit Information (by Jeff Zalesin, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)

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