Gov. signs CHL bill

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Rep. Kim Thatcher (File Photo)

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill restricting public access to concealed handgun license records – a move applauded by Rep. Kim Thatcher, who’s been backing the legislation for years.

Thatcher, a Republican, said she and the Democratic governor don’t agree on too much, but she was grateful for this meeting of the minds.

Thatcher has been trying to get similar legislation passed for the past several sessions. Two bills have passed the House previously, only to hit roadblocks in the state Senate.

This year’s version, House Bill 4045, adds exemptions to the law: For example, information could be released under a court order, if the license holder allows for it, or a public body determines a “compelling need” to disclose. Several criminal justice exemptions also are in the proposed law; for example, a crime victim could find out if the perpetrator had a license, and news organizations could learn if a person convicted of certain crimes had a concealed carry license.

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