The proposed legislation would make the information on a firearm carry permit application, as well as the name and address of the person holding carry permit, protected information. The information would not be public record and would be available only to law enforcement officials for legitimate law enforcement purposes.
Rep. Murphy is well-known for his advocacy of second amendment rights. He originally introduced a separate firearms bill in 2009 (House Bill 1375), which would have prevented cities and towns from restricting the sale of firearms during disasters and emergencies. He is reintroducing this bill again for 2010, along with the new privacy language.
"As a former journalist, I respect the legitimate interests of journalists and other organizations," Rep. Murphy stated. "However, there is nothing more precious than our right to defend our homes and families. Displaying the demographics of Hoosier gun owners on the internet is a clear danger to gun owners."
The bill was drafted after several Indiana newspapers posted searchable databases on their websites revealing the races, ages, geographic distribution to a granular level, and other personal statistics of gun carry permit owners across the state.
"We can't allow journalistic curiosity to trump our right to privacy and safety," Rep. Murphy said. "Publishing carry permit information helps criminals target streets where there are low numbers of permit holders, and can also set up homes for gun theft. Either way it compromises the safety of Hoosiers."
The 2010 legislative session begins January 5. Rep.
Murphy encourages local constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at email@example.com, or by calling the Statehouse toll-free at 1-800-382-9841. It is also possible to write him at 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.