I’ve had a few conversations with gun owners who are worried about being targeted because The Gazette prints the list of people who renew or get a new concealed carry weapons permit each month from Linn and surrounding counties. We believe the public has a right to know who is legally carrying a gun, just as we all can readily identify a police officer or military officer. We also print charges brought against people who are found to have guns illegally. The people I’ve talked to are concerned that, because people know they carry, they may become the target of assault or home burglary.

I thought I’d go through The Gazette archives and look at all the burglaries in the past few years in which firearms were reportedly stolen. There have been only four that we reported, and one of those was at the home of a person who has a concealed carry permit. So, I suppose the fears aren’t totally baseless, but it’s not like they’re being victimized at a higher rate. I am also aware that many stolen firearms around here are taken during unreported burglaries, but I’m pretty sure those aren’t at the homes of diehard Second Amendment supporters. As a general fan of public information, I’d really hate for people to stop putting their names and/or addresses in the phone book, but I’ve gotta say — if you’ve got stuff you don’t want stolen, don’t give people the opportunity to find you.

The names of people who have concealed carry permits aren’t public record in some states. For example, Missouri keeps their list of concealed carry permits sealed. But I’m all for full disclosure of who’s packing heat — even if it were me. At least people should know what to expect if they tried to mug me, eh?