Oregon Appeals Court Rules Handgun Permits Are Public Records
David Nogueras | June 24, 2010 | Bend, OR
The Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld a 2008 ruling that found concealed handgun permits are part of the public record.
The case was filed by a Southern Oregon newspaper.
The Medford Mail Tribune first requested the list as part of its reporting on Shirley Katz, a Medford high school teacher who requested permission to bring her concealed handgun to work with her.
The Medford School District refused. Katz sued. And two years later, the school district won.
The Mail Tribune wanted to know if there were any other teachers who had concealed handgun licenses.
When the Jackson County Sheriff’s office refused to reveal the names, the Mail Tribune sued.
Medford Mail Tribune editor Bob Hunter says the paper decided to stick with the case as a matter of principle, even after teacher Shirley Katz was off the front page.
Bob Hunter: “That story is old news now. But the issue of keeping public records public never becomes old news, hopefully.”
The Court of Appeals said the Jackson Country Sheriff’s Office must now release a list of names of people who were issued concealed weapons permits between 2006 and 2007.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters had no comment. The Sheriffs’ office has 35 days to appeal the ruling.
© 2010 OPB