New law closes concealed carry permit records

From The Sandusky Register

A new state law will make concealed carry permit records in Ohio completely secret.

The new law ends the remaining provision in state law that had allowed journalists to inspect the records kept by county sheriffs of local residents who hold permits to carry handguns concealed on their persons.

The original version of the law had made the records private, but allowed journalists to access the lists.

A more recent version of the law banned journalists from making copies of the lists, but allowed them to look at the records.

The 2015-2017 budget bill that Gov. John Kasich signed last week removes that provision, too, making the records completely private.

Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association, said the law will make it harder for journalists to serve a watchdog role and make sure officials are administering the concealed carry program properly.

"It's not a good day for transparency," Hetzel said.

Hetzel said his organization had sent a letter to Gov. Kasich, asking the governor to veto that portion of the budget bill. The governor issued 44 vetoes last week of various provisions in the budget, but left the concealed carry record provision untouched.

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