Nationwide Investigation

Newspaper conglomerate Civitas Media discusses building nationwide database of CCW licensees

by Chad D. Baus,  |  published on January 24, 2014

According to an internal email provided to Buckeye Firearms Association by a confidential source, Civitas Media, which owns some 88 newspapers across the country, has discussed the use of “public records act requests” to “build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry” firearm licenses.

The email, dated January 19, 2014, was written by Civitas Media’s director of content, Jim Lawitz, and distributed to content directors, managers and producers at company-owned newspapers in 12 states, including 38 newspapers here in Ohio.

Civitas Media editorial report – Jan. 13- Jan. 17

From Jim Lawitz

We are launching two enterprise projects across our newsrooms this month. The first will deal with the creeping influence of heroin in our communities. The deadly drug has quietly taken over, reaching across all age groups and eclipsing meth as the recreational drug of choice. The second project examines the explosion of “conceal and carry” gun permits across the U.S. Through public records act requests, we will attempt to build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry a concealed weapon. (emphasis added)

Here is a scan of the original email with email addresses redacted.

Buckeye Firearms Association contacted several Civitas-owned newspapers around the state about the email, and while they acknowledged its existence, no one was willing to provide comment on the record.

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