City Paper: McDonough To Introduce Gun Owner Privacy Bill

The bill was brought on by a New York paper's decision to publish a map of pistol permit owners shortly after the Newtown, CT school shooting.

State Del. Pat McDonough wants to stop newspapers from publishing information about gun owners.

City Paper reports a bill on the subject is one of three that McDonough plans to introduce in the General Assembly session that starts in January.

McDonough, a Middle River Republican who represents parts of Baltimore and Harford counties, told City Paper that the gun owner bill was brought on by current events.

In New York, following the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, CT, The Journal News published an online map of pistol permit holders in three counties.

The map was compiled using public record requests. A blogger retaliated by posting the addresses of Journal News staffers, as CNN reported. One blogger even published the address of the CEO of the paper's owner, Gannett, as Poynter reports.

"This is really a response to the paper in New York which claimed what they were doing was for the pub­lic good, but what it really is is a mas­sive edi­to­r­ial tak­ing up two pages of the news­pa­per reflect­ing their posi­tion of the news­pa­per," McDonough told City Paper. "It’s really dis­hon­est to not say it is an editorial."

City Paper asked McDonough if he believed it was the "role of the state" to limit what a paper can publish. McDonough told the paper, “You know your­self that there are reg­u­la­tions on the First Amend­ment. You know there are laws against scan­dal [sic] or things that are harmful.”

McDonough acknowledged to City Paper that his bills stand little chance of passing in the General Assembly, where both the House of Delegates and State Senate are controlled by Democrats.

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