By Gil Gilbertson
Josephine County Sheriff
This Sheriff strongly believes in the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms. I must also stress the importance to those who choose to use weapons – they do so in a responsible and safe manner.
Many of you may, or may not, have heard of a state-wide effort to disclose the names, addresses and other identifying information of licensed concealed handgun holders, which includes you.
This issue first arose in Jackson County when a Medford newspaper requested a list of all concealed handgun license holders, in 2007. Jackson County Sheriff Michael Winters refused the request, citing a statute about the compromise of personal “security measures”.
The Court ordered Jackson County Sheriff to provide the list of information about Jackson County CHL holders to the local newspaper. The Court stated there was no evidence that people get a CHL as a security measure. The case is currently on appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
In short, the media (and other groups) are demanding that Sheriffs disclose your identity. The question becomes who really needs to know, and why? Is this just the media flexing their muscles? Once this information is exposed, what nefarious consequences can you anticipate? Identity theft is yet another succeeding concern to this needless exposure.
I do not know this to be true in every case, but I believe people seeking out and acquiring concealed handgun licenses do so for their security whether for business, personal, or family safety. In any case, I also assume they do not wish that information to become public. This is only an assumption on my part, which brings us to the purpose of this article.
I believe most, if not all, of you that obtained your CHL did so as a security measure, and that you would not want everyone in the State to have your personal information – I am asking that you contact the Civil Division of the Josephine County Sheriff Office to advise us on your position in this matter.
Depending on the outcome of the Appellate Court ruling, your personal information could become public.
As your Sheriff, I will do everything within my power to protect your privacy and maintain all rights and privileges secured by the Constitution, and laws. It is therefore important you inform us of your choice as soon as possible.
License holders who want to request protection of their records can respond by mail or stop by the sheriff’s office (601 NW 5th Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526) and sign our new form indicating your decision.
Recipients of this notice are asked to fill out yes or no responses to the following:
• I want my concealed handgun license information to be kept confidential and to be protected from release to the public.
• I applied for a CHL as a personal safety measure and I want all information about my application or license protected from release to the public