New gun legislation in Lansing would exempt information from FOIA requests

by JAKE NEHER, Michigan Radio  |  published on January 23, 2013

A bill in Lansing would exempt some information about gun owners and their firearms from Freedom of Information Act requests.

Among other things, the measure would exempt information from pistol license applications and from a database that tracks pistol histories.

The legislation is a reaction to a New York state newspaper that recently published information about registered gun owners in the area. Many gun owners were outraged by the move, saying it opened them to harassment.

Mike Cavender is with the Radio-Television Digital News Association. He said making the information private would be an over-reaction.

“It should be available. It should remain public. And the issues over the use of that information should also be vigorously debated, but they should be debated by journalistic organizations, not by state legislatures,” Cavender said.

Another bill introduced this week would exempt guns and ammunition made, sold, and kept in Michigan from federal regulations.

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