Longwitz proposes curbs on open records regarding guns

Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Mark Baker of Brandon.

The Mississippi Press Association said it will oppose less transparency.

“While I sometimes wish we could enact laws to prevent newspapers from behaving irresponsibly, we can’t,” said James E. Prince III, president of the Mississippi Press Association and president of Prince Newspapers, which publishes the Madison County Journal. “Trampling the First Amendment to protect the Second is a slippery slope.”

Prince said current Mississippi law is a reasonable compromise that allows for transparency but ultimately ensures longterm privacy for gun owners.

The Mississippi law is not a registration law, Prince said. Collectors, for example, are not required to have a permit.

Longwitz said he fears anti-gun activists who have pledged to “out” gun owners.

“Anti-gun activists have already promised to go state-to-state ‘outing gun owners,'” Longwitz’s statement continued. “Making conceal-carry information public puts law-abiding Mississippians in danger.”

Madison County Journal
1/18/13