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A Bangor newspaper came under withering attack from gun rights advocates, state politicians and hundreds of online readers Thursday after requesting personal information on concealed weapon permit holders from all Maine police departments.

The Bangor Daily News said it was gathering the information as part of a reporting project on domestic violence and drug abuse.

“The BDN has no intention to release this information publicly,” said Anthony Ronzio, the newspaper’s director of news and new media, in a prepared statement.

But the newspaper’s request, filed under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, was widely attacked as an invasion of privacy and act of provocation linked to the Legislature’s pending consideration of a bill that would prevent personal information on permit holders from being made public.

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