Right to know vs. right to carry

Friday, October 30, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The First Amendment Center will host a panel discussion about the intersection of First and Second Amendment rights on Nov. 3 at the Center. The discussion will focus on whether the public should have access to gun owners’ personal information found in state right-to-carry permit records.

The discussion, open to the public, will be conducted at 3 p.m. at the John Seigenthaler Center on the Vanderbilt University campus, 1207 18th Ave. South, at the intersection of Edgehill Avenue and 18th Avenue South.

Panelists will include John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association; Chris Peck, editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal; and David Hudson, First Amendment scholar and a lawyer at the First Amendment Center. Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the Center, will moderate the discussion. Other panelists may be added.

A controversy erupted in Tennessee, as it has in other states, after the CommercialAppeal.com earlier this year published the names and addresses of permit holders. Legislation was introduced in Tennessee to close or restrict public and press access to the state database. The bill failed, but is expected to be reintroduced in the next legislative session.

WHAT: Panel discussion: The public’s right to know the content of state records vs. the individual right to privacy cited by permit holders. Open to the public. Lecture Hall seating is limited, but an overflow room will be provided if needed. To reserve a seat, please call 615/727-1333.

WHEN: 3 p.m. CT, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

WHERE: John Seigenthaler Center, on Vanderbilt University campus, 1207 18th Avenue South, Nashville. [Limited parking available in the first floor of the parking garage immediately across 18th Avenue South. Street parking also available in the area.]

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Media contact:
Gene Policinski
615/727-1600 or gpolicinski@fac.org