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05.21.09 CHL BILL PRIVACY BILL HEARD. WE CAN STILL SAVE IT.

CHL PRIVACY BILL. IT AIN’T DEAD YET.

HB 2727 A was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

As you know, in its original form, the bill provided extensive protections for CHL holders’ privacy.

But the bill was essentially neutered in the House Judiciary Committee and now provides little more than window dressing.  But even those meager protections were too much for Ginny Burdick, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard, the ACLU and the Oregonian newspaper, all of whom came to complain that the bill afforded too much privacy for CHL holders.

Burdick and Leonard have long been vocal opponents of gun rights (although Leonard has had a CHL himself in the past) and the Oregonian makes no secret of their desire to have access to the private records of Oregon gun owners. The ACLU, of course, are big protectors of privacy rights, unless those rights belong to gun owners. The ACLU’s hypocrisy on this issue is both glaring and expected.

Andrea Meyer , the ACLU’s lobbyist, testified that CHL holders records should be open to the public on the same day that she testified that drunk drivers should not be forced to submit to urine analysis.  Protection of people’s rights is a highly selective endeavor at the ACLU.

But pro-gunners opposed the bill for the opposite reason. It simply provides no real safeguards for CHL holders. And that’s why it’s more important than ever that you contact not only the Senate Judiciary Committee members, but your own Senator (if he or she is not on the committee) and urge them to restore the original safeguards that appeared in the unamended bill.

Although the hearing was held today, no action was taken on the bill and the Chairman, Floyd Prozanski, did not rule out restoring the safeguards that were stripped out in the House.

If those are restored, the House will have to concur with the changed bill, but it’s a fight worth having rather than settling for a bill than is little more than smoke and mirrors.

Please let them know that without the original protections, the bill means very little. And be sure to contact your own Senator if he or she is not on the Committee.  They may not have a vote in the Committee, but they can still make their feelings known to the Committee members.

You can find your State Senator using this link. Your STATE Senator will be the 4th person listed. You can write directly to your legislators using this link.

The bill is scheduled to be acted on next Tuesday. Please contact the Committee and your Senator as soon as possible.

Sample message:

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Dear Senator,

Testimony given at the hearing for HB2727 “A”  made it clear that some people want access to the private records of CHL holders. As you know, several counties have already made that information available to private organizations who are using it for fundraising purposes and who could easily sell it to third parties.

CHL holders deserve to have their personal information kept private. These are not  “non-sensitive government  documents.”  These are highly sensitive documents filled with the personal  information, not only of the license holders and applicants, but also of the references they are required  by law to provide.

In its current form, HB 2727 “A”  provides virtually no protections for CHL holders.  I urge you to restore the original protections that HB 2727 contained.

Yours,

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