Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2007
No copying concealed-carry list
WARREN The Trumbull County prosecutor and sheriff will continue to prevent journalists from taking notes off information from concealed-carry records.
Tuesday, Prosecutor Dennis Watkins received a written opinion from the office of Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann clarifying the law, which went into effect Sept. 29 and allows journalists to view the name, county of residence and date of birth of each person for whom the sheriff has issued, suspended or revoked a concealed-carry license.
Watkins sought the opinion because the amendment didn't make it clear what was meant when it said journalists could not copy the names of residents who hold such a license.
The opinion said journalists could view the information but could not reproduce it in any way, such as note taking, photo copying or dictating into a recording device.
It did say, however, that any information the journalist gathered mentally could be published.
In a letter to the attorney general Sept. 24, Watkins asked for the clarification on copying. He also wanted to know what was meant when the amendment said no person was allowed to release or disseminate the concealed-carry records except for journalists. Watkins asked whether journalists could publish the information.
The opinion said they could.
Watkins advised Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere in September to prohibit a journalist from copying the information in any manner until getting the opinion. He also advised the sheriff to allow journalists to repeatedly view the information "subject to reasonable time and manner constraints."