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Thread: VA-ALERT: VCDL testifies to close FOIA loophole and protect CHP info

  1. #1
    Newbie W.E.G.'s Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    all over VA, ,

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    VA-ALERT: VCDL testifies to close FOIA loophole and protect CHP info

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philip Van Cleave
    Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 11:27 PM
    Subject: VA-ALERT: VCDL testifies to close FOIA loophole and protect CHP info!

    Last Tuesday the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Council
    subcommittee asked for input on Senator Houck's bill, SB 529, that
    would prohibit the Virginia State Police from disseminating Concealed
    Handgun Permit holder information, BUT would still allow Circuit
    Courts to give out that information.

    It is probably no coincidence that Senator Houck likes that FOIA
    loophole, as the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star is in his district. He
    made a point of praising the paper in front of the subcommittee
    (ugh). The anti-gun paper unscrupulously prints the names and
    addresses of new CHP holders in the Fredericksburg area in order to
    intimidate gun owners from obtaining CHPs.

    Three people spoke: Theron P. Keller, BJ Ostergren, and I.

    I told the subcommittee that CHP information needs to be kept TOTALLY
    private, as many CHP holder's lives can be put in jeopardy by
    providing their address to those who might wish to do them harm. I
    told the subcommittee that included prohibiting dissemination of CHP
    information from CIRCUIT COURTS as well as from the State Police.

    I said that there is no legitimate First Amendment reason for
    releasing CHP information.

    Theron and BJ both did excellent jobs, making more or less the same

    Theron pointed out that the AG opinion last year on the CHP
    information, says not once, but twice, that "it is my opinion that
    the express language of §18.2-308(K) limits the use of concealed carry
    permit information to law-enforcement personnel for investigative
    purposes." That, of course, strengthens our case to eliminate Houck's
    FOIA Loophole.

    We will continue to fight to keep CHP records from public
    dissemination when Senator Houck's FOIA Loophole bill is heard again
    next year.

    Here is coverage by Channel 29 (NBC) in Charlottesville.

    There is a statement in the story that VCDL takes STRONG EXCEPTION to:

    "Prior to the 2008 legislative session, gun rights activists and press
    associations agreed to a compromise, which became Senate Bill 529."

    VCDL most certainly did NOT agree to any compromise on the Circuit
    Court loophole last year. We wanted the records totally closed,
    EXCEPT for bona fide gun organizations for education purposes.
    Perhaps other organizations agreed to the Circuit Court loophole, but
    VCDL did not and will not. In fact, this year, I did not even ask for
    the educational exception. We just want to close the list. Period,
    end of story.

    State Lawmakers Spar Over Gun Rights

    Updated: Aug 5, 2008 06:04 PM EDT

    State leaders are continuing to battle over what, if any, information
    should be public record when it comes to Virginia's concealed carry

    In the past, press organizations have revealed all of the holders, but
    many gun rights activists say that shouldn't be allowed.

    If you think this sounds like an argument the General Assembly had
    last year, you're right. A deal was struck by the Freedom of
    Information Council heading into last year's legislative session, but
    that deal seems to have fallen apart.

    "Its hard to get a consensus between the access and the privacy
    pieces. It's always the balance that, I think, we have some difficulty
    trying to achieve," said 17th District Senator Edd Houck (D).

    Houck leads the subcommittee that has been studying the concealed
    carry issue. The debate centers on allowing the names and addresses of
    those who have concealed gun permits to be public record.

    "You want to put up where the rapists in a community are, fine. But
    the decent law abiding people you don't need to put that," said
    Phillip VanCleave with the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    Prior to the 2008 legislative session, gun rights activists and press
    associations agreed to a compromise, which became Senate Bill 529. The
    bill stated that the Virginia State Police would continue to keep a
    record of who has a permit, but could only release those names to
    other officials, such as law enforcement agencies.

    The press associations said the compromise wasn't perfect, but it was
    one they could live with. But there were still some questions about
    the bill during the session, so it's now back in subcommittee for
    another year. And that's where some activists say it still needs a lot
    of work.

    "It closes a backdoor, but it leaves a front door wide open," said
    Theron Keller, a concerned resident.

    The controversy over this issue began last year when the Roanoke Times
    printed the names and addresses of all the concealed weapons holders
    in its area.

    VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's
    scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:
    VCDL's meeting schedule:

    ************************************************** *************************
    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
    dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
    Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page:
    ************************************************** *************************

  2. #2
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Newport News, Virginia, USA

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    Thank you VCDL. Having been a victim of the Freelace Star's CHP "outing" it is sad to see that we need to have a legislative solution to stupid behaviour.Since we cannot cure the stupid actions of the Freelance Star, it is great to have such apowerful advocate to shield us from theirresponsibleactions of that rag.

    VCDL - The shield against firearms stupidity.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Apr 2008
    Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA

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    Curious where they post these CHPs... I have been watching Fredericksburg Freelance-Staron-line (cancelled my subscription a few monthsbecause of mention of the postings). Never saw my information post after I received my CHP... been waiting for it to show so I could write a letter to them expressing my displeasure.

    EDIT: Finally found a couple postings... but both were from 2005

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