Missoula gun owners' info safe


MISSOULA, Mont. - Gun owners in Missoula county don't need to worry that their personal information could be published, like gun owners in New York.

The Journal, a newspaper based in Westchester County, New York published an interactive map showing the names and address of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties, after requesting the data under the Freedom of Information Act.

But that couldn't happen in Missoula county says Detective Jason Johnson.

"Privacy is a big issue with Montanans. We certainly do our best to protect peoples private information. It's a much different scenario than back east."

The difference is the fact that handgun permits are part of the New York state public record, and can be obtained with the right paperwork.

Montana law does not require gun owners to register firearms. However, law states a  gun owner must hold a permit to conceal carry. Johnson says that information is not public record, and the county would be reluctant to give it out. 

"There's certainly no public site or public record of concealed weapons permits... It's not something that we would be willing to release. Its information we want to protect for good reason."

Johnson did say MSCO and the state have a record of permit holders.

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