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Thread: Roanoke newspaper posts entire VA CHP database on the net

  1. #1
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Franklin, VA, Virginia, USA

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    If you have a CHP, your name and address are available to any thief that wants it.

    Shedding light on concealed handguns
    By Christian Trejbal

    Christian Trejbal

    Today is the start of Sunshine Week, the annual week in which we reflect on the importance of open government and public records. To mark the occasion, I want to take you on an excursion into freedom of information land. We're going to find out who in the New River Valley has a concealed handgun permit.
    I can hear the shocked indignation of gun-toters already: It's nobody's business but mine if I want to pack heat.
    Au contraire. Because the government handles the permitting, it is everyone's business.
    There are good reasons the records are open to public scrutiny. People might like to know if their neighbors carry. Parents might like to know if a member of the car pool has a pistol in the glove box. Employers might like to know if employees are bringing weapons to the office.
    And all Virginians have a stake in checking that their government is not making mistakes, for example, by issuing permits to convicted felons. Open records allow the media or any private citizen to check.
    This is not about being for or against guns. There are plenty of reasons people choose to carry weapons: fear of a violent ex-lover, concern about criminals or worry that the king of England might try to get into your house. There are plenty of reasons to question the wisdom of widespread gun ownership, too.
    But that's a debate for another time.
    To illustrate the open government process, I set out to acquire permit lists for the New River Valley.
    I first called the local circuit court clerks charged with overseeing permitting. They were helpful, as far as they could be.

    Your thoughts
    [list][*]Post to the message board [*]Agree or disagree? You can search to find out if neighbors, carpool partners, elected officials or anyone else has permission to carry a gun.
    Open government laws arose from distrust of government. They guarantee citizens can watch what government does in their names, including issuing gun permits.
    Trejbal is an editorial writer for The Roanoke Times based in the New River Valley bureau in Christiansburg.
    Want to tell them how you feel about this?

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  2. #2
    Regular Member
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    Oct 2006
    Gloucester Point, Virginia, USA

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    Paramedic7002 - thread already started:

  3. #3
    Moderator / Administrator
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    May 2006
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA

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    The privacy problem being illustrated here with putting"public records" online when the public records are also personal rcords is called loss of "practical obscurity."

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