AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Senate has given its final approval to a bill to protect as confidential names and other personally identifying information on concealed weapons permits and sent the bill to Gov. Paul LePage.
The Senate's 25-8 vote followed a similarly lopsided 114-33 vote in the House, where desperate appeals from some lawmakers to preserve concealed weapons data as open records failed. Until recently, that information was open for public review under the state's Freedom of Access law.
Democratic Rep. Charles Priest of Brunswick warned that the bill weakens Maine's open records law. But supporters of the bill said it protects the privacy of law-abiding gun owners.
Independent Rep. James Campbell of Newfield suggested that Maine go the way of Vermont and not have concealed weapons permits or restrictions at all.
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