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Bill aims to protect privacy of concealed gun permit owners

Published March 8, 2013 11:31 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sharing or leaking a person's private information from the state's concealed weapons permit database would be elevated to a class A misdemeanor under a proposal that passed the Utah House of Representatives Friday.

HB317 elevates the transgression from a class B misdemeanor, though the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jacob Anderegg had initially sought to make the crime a felony over the objections of the Utah Sentencing Commission.

The Lehi Republican said the bill was largely in reaction to a small newspaper in New England that published the names and addresses of gun owners and overlaid them on a Google map shortly after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"We want to prohibit that from happening."

He said he also wanted to protect individuals from giving criminals "a roadmap" to where they live and information on what kinds of firearms might be in their home.

The measure passed 62-9.

Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, objected to the proposal when it passed out of committee earlier this week — echoing concerns by the Utah Sentencing Commission that it raised the bar on one kind of disclosure of private information while keeping other unlawful releases at a lower penalty rate.

The bill would also prohibit local governments and school districts from compelling people to disclose whether they have a concealed weapons permit or are carrying a firearm.

But Anderegg did allow that information about an individual could be accessed by federal agents accessing the information as a secondary act when investigating or attempting to arrest a person suspected of committing a crime.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

dmontero@sltrib.com

Twitter: @davemontero