This is a discussion on 'Va. police make gun database off-limits'.... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet...=1173350618729 Virginia State Police are no longer making public a database of permit holders of concealed handguns after the attorney general said yesterday that it ...
This was started by a nim-rod writer at the Roanoke Times, who published the database online with everybody in Va. info (mine included):Virginia State Police are no longer making public a database of permit holders of concealed handguns after the attorney general said yesterday that it should be off-limits to citizens.
The database, according to an advisory opinion released by Attorney General Bob McDonnell, was put together solely as an investigative tool and therefore is an exception to the state Freedom of Information Act requiring public access to many government documents......
....Although an attorney general's opinion does not have the weight of law, state police are treating the opinion as advice from their attorney, Geller said.
McDonnell issued the opinion at the request of Del. David A. Nutter, R-Montgomery, who said he was inundated with calls last month from constituents who were angry that The Roanoke Times obtained the database from state police and published it online.
The database contains the name and addresses of more than 135,000 Virginians. Readers and gun owners across the state assailed the newspaper, claiming that publication of the database invaded gun owners' privacy. They also said it may have exposed the names of crime victims, revealed the addresses of abused spouses and told burglars which homes have weapons.
Nutter said he intends to introduce legislation next year putting the database off-limits to the public -- effectively putting McDonnell's opinion into law. Information about permit holders of concealed weapons would still be available for inspection at courthouses across the state under Nutter's bill, he said.
Way to go Attorney General Bob McDonnell!
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"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper
May the other states grow this common sense.
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Good news indeed, let's hope other states take notice.
If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
This is good news.
...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller
I emailed them both, the State Police Commisioner and the Attorney General. I feel good with the thought that I might have contributed to that outcome.
now if we could just do away with the whole open carry in restaurants law...that would be great.
But, what happens to the copy that the Roanoke-Times has in-hand already? Or, the copies the other newspapers all around the state already have? Nice to have the spigot turned off, but it's already in the wild.
I'm sure this was won with some hard support by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Bully to everyone who wrote letters and the VCDL, themselves. I'm glad this is happening.
Hopefully this will teach a lesson to those who wish to publish our names. Want to go up against law-abiding citizens...? Expect the law to come back at you. I hope that victories like this will resonate with the Senate and Congress. I fear they won't, but one can always hope, right?
No legal changes, yet. Wont' be sealed until (a) the right to privacy is embedded each state's constitution and (b) the copies out in the "wild" are deemed illegal and those keeping such copies get serious jail/fines for continuing to keep them. (Can't imagine how those copies will get cleaned up, given the way tape backups work, and all.)
Montana's a good example, having constitutional requirements for both a Right to Know and a Right To Privacy, and the privacy trumps any right to know except in cases of clear, compelling State interest. No stinkin' private desire to see such data (as with the Roanoke-Times situation) can trump that right, in Montana. Thankfully, Oregon's pushing for the same thing. Let it happen, just like that.
Example of Montana's Constitution:
Article II. Declaration of Rights
- Section 9: Right to Know
No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberations of all public bodies or agencies of state government and its subdivisions, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.
- Section 10: Right of Privacy
The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.
'Bout time...should be that way everywhere!
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Several attempts by the media for access to the Colorado CCW database information have been refused, and the refusal upheld by our Attorney General, as not being public record.