Police records with the names and addresses of citizens licensed to carry concealed guns should not be public documents and therefore vulnerable to publication so "criminals will know where to go and steal guns," said state Rep. Tim Copeland.
Under the state's right-to-know law, licenses to carry concealed pistols and revolvers are now public records and subject to public disclosure to anyone who asks. Copeland, a Stratham Republican, seeks to reverse that as sponsor of a bill to exclude "firearms records from public records subject to disclosure under the right-to-know law."
He has the support of local law enforcers and the National Rifle Association and said that, so far, no one has raised an objection. The impetus, Copeland said, was a New York news organization's 2012 online publication of the names and addresses for all residents in two counties who had concealed-carry licenses.
After the story went national, and was met with widespread criticism, the report was removed from the Internet.
"That gave me the idea to do this," Copeland said. "Otherwise, you're telling the criminals where to go."
Gun thieves could use the information to "case" the residences of concealed-carry license holders, wait until no one is home, and "go in there and steal guns," he said.
Gun thefts are "very common," said Copeland, a retired New York police officer and New Hampshire Liquor Enforcement officer. "Criminals don't follow laws. They go out and steal guns from legitimate people."
Portsmouth Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald said his department "supports the legislation to exempt gun permit information from being public." Gun thefts are not uncommon in Portsmouth where, just last month, a pistol was reported stolen from a parked car.
The double-talking gun-rights phonies can't get their story straight. First they place signs indicating that the neighbor is for gun control, assuming the burglars would be most interested in going there. Now, they claim that thieves would target the homes WITH guns. And supposedly the entire push of this privacy bill is to prevent theft. What a bunch of hogwash.
If they wanted to prevent theft, they'd keep their guns locked up in safes when not in use. It's that simple.
No, the reason for this initiative is another one, an obvious one. When one of the secret concealed carry permit holders does something wrong, no one will know. In many cases even the authorities and statistics keepers won't know. All the better to continue the bizarre claim that permit holders are super-law-abiding. They're not. They're no more law-abiding than gun owners at large for the simple reason that the bar is set so low, practically anyone can earn a concealed carry permit. There's absolutely no attempt at ensuring that they're better trained, more responsible or smarter, yet, the gun-rights movement has a lot invested in the false claim that they are.