bangor daily news

Facing outcry, Maine newspaper drops request for gun permit info

by Noreen O'Donnell, Reuters.com  |  published on February 18, 2013

A Maine newspaper’s request for information about gun permit owners ignited such an outcry among gun-rights advocates and state lawmakers that on Friday the newspaper withdrew it.

In a repeat of an uproar that occurred in a New York City suburb last month, The Bangor Daily News had asked for public records that included the names and addresses of concealed weapon permit holders. Facing fierce criticism, however, it rescinded the request.

“We are disappointed with the reaction to our request, which we felt was with the best intentions to help study issues affecting Maine through an analysis of publicly available data,” the newspaper said in an editor’s note published on Friday.

“We will continue our reporting, but will use other sources of information to do so,” the newspaper said.

Anthony Ronzio, the newspaper’s director of news and new media, declined further comment.

But by Thursday, a new group calling itself Celebration Connect sought the same information under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, according to lawmakers. It was unclear what the unknown organization intended to do with the information, the lawmakers said.

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