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On Wednesday, the Bangor Daily News requested data from Maine police agencies regarding concealed weapons permits in Maine. I’d like to explain our thinking, and clarify our intent.
The BDN requested the records of concealed weapons permits as part of long-term reporting projects on domestic violence, sexual assault and drug abuse.
It always had been the BDN’s intent to request this information to support our reporting projects. However, the introduction of legislation to remove these permits from public records accelerated our timeline in doing so.
The BDN has never had any intention to release identifying information about permit holders, and said so in our request. We recognize how sensitive this information is, and made sure police agencies knew of this intent.
We believe the wholesale publication of permit holder information, as was done recently by a newspaper in New York, is irresponsible.
We intend to use this information about permits, along with other information sets we are gathering, to analyze possible correlations relevant to our reporting projects.
I regret the confusion our request has caused. We had hoped that by stating our intent right in our letters, we could have assuaged any concerns it could have caused.
Again, no identifying information about permit holders will be published, and no stories specifically about permit holders are planned.
Director of News and New Media
Bangor Daily News