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Thread: Legislators who think CHP info is already protected

  1. #1
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    From user profile's message earlier today, highlighting a response from Delegate Bob Marshall on the privacy of CHP holders' personal information, it appears that some delegates do not believe that there is a huge leak, allowing newspapers to print names and streets of CHP holders.

    While looking through the code in response to another thread, I noticed this, the first half of the last sentence of Section D, on how to apply for a CHP:

    The clerk of court may withhold from public disclosure the social security number contained in a permit application in response to a request to inspect or copy any such permit application,...
    This is concrete proof that not only is it current practice, the law as it is currently written assumes that CHP applications are public record, available for anyone to review or copy at will.

    It is very disappointing that our representatives are so unaware of what they speak, and even more so that they are collectively unwilling to provide basic privacy to those who often have very legitimate need to keep this information under wraps.

    TFred

    ETFix: Spell much?

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    I just fired off this e-mail to Delegate Marshall:



    Delegate Marshall,

    Today I was informed that you support bill HB 2144 in its current form, and that you do not believe there is any "loophole" allowing the press (or any other private person) access to the personally identifying information of Concealed Handgun Permit applicants.

    HB 2144 applies solely to what the State Police may do with this personal information. Delegate Marshall, I urge you to take a look at Section "D" of the current law (§ 18.2-308), specifically, the first half of the last sentence of Section D, which reads:

    "The clerk of court may withhold from public disclosure the social security number contained in a permit application in response to a request to inspect or copy any such permit application,..."

    This small portion of the current law, which protects Social Security Numbers of CHP applicants, provides PROOF that it is anticipated that, being a court record, these applications are fair game for members of the public, including the press, to inspect, copy, and in fact, publish at any time.

    If you need further proof, I would be very happy to provide you with copies of newspaper pages from my local newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, from several months' worth of lists of name after name, along with their street of residence, of successful CHP applicants.

    This information provides a road map for criminals who may wish to stalk and burglarize homes likely to contain weapons. It also provides an opportunity for those who may wish to locate victims of domestic violence who may be in hiding who wish to carry a concealed weapon for their personal protection from violent domestic partners.

    Delegate, I urge you to reconsider your position in light of this information, and if you know of colleagues who share your position, inform them as well.

    We need to lock down the wide open door that allows this personal information to be freely published. I urge you to amend HB 2144 to specifically protect this personal information from public disclosure of any kind, not just by the State Police.

    Thank you for your consideration.




    Of course, since the House already passed it, there isn't much chance of getting it changed now... but it felt good to send!

    TFred

  3. #3
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    There's no need to construe a statement in 18.2-308 to mean that the CHP is public information. It's plain as day right here in 17.1-208:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+17.1-208
    § 17.1-208. Records, etc., open to inspection; copies; exception.
    Except as otherwise provided by law, any records and papers of every circuit court that are maintained by the clerk of the circuit court shall be open to inspection by any person and the clerk shall, when requested, furnish copies thereof, except in cases in which it is otherwise specially provided. The certificate of the clerk to such copies shall, if the paper copied be recorded in a bound volume, contain the name and number of the volume and the page or folio at which the recordation of the paper begins and may charge a fee therefor pursuant to § 17.1-275. No person shall be permitted to use the clerk's office for the purpose of making copies of records in such manner, or to such extent, as will interfere with the business of the office or with its reasonable use by the general public.

    So tell your representatives about 17.1-208 and maybe they'll understand.

  4. #4
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    There's no need to construe a statement in 18.2-308 to mean that the CHP is public information. It's plain as day right here in 17.1-208:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+17.1-208
    § 17.1-208. Records, etc., open to inspection; copies; exception.
    Except as otherwise provided by law, any records and papers of every circuit court that are maintained by the clerk of the circuit court shall be open to inspection by any person and the clerk shall, when requested, furnish copies thereof, except in cases in which it is otherwise specially provided. The certificate of the clerk to such copies shall, if the paper copied be recorded in a bound volume, contain the name and number of the volume and the page or folio at which the recordation of the paper begins and may charge a fee therefor pursuant to § 17.1-275. No person shall be permitted to use the clerk's office for the purpose of making copies of records in such manner, or to such extent, as will interfere with the business of the office or with its reasonable use by the general public.

    So tell your representatives about 17.1-208 and maybe they'll understand.
    Yeah they should know that already. It's hard to believe one would go on the record (well, as much as an e-mail is) saying that they didn't think this was open information.

    TFred

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    virginiatuck wrote:
    There's no need to construe a statement in 18.2-308 to mean that the CHP is public information. It's plain as day right here in 17.1-208:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+17.1-208
    § 17.1-208. Records, etc., open to inspection; copies; exception.
    Except as otherwise provided by law, any records and papers of every circuit court that are maintained by the clerk of the circuit court shall be open to inspection by any person and the clerk shall, when requested, furnish copies thereof, except in cases in which it is otherwise specially provided. The certificate of the clerk to such copies shall, if the paper copied be recorded in a bound volume, contain the name and number of the volume and the page or folio at which the recordation of the paper begins and may charge a fee therefor pursuant to § 17.1-275. No person shall be permitted to use the clerk's office for the purpose of making copies of records in such manner, or to such extent, as will interfere with the business of the office or with its reasonable use by the general public.

    So tell your representatives about 17.1-208 and maybe they'll understand.
    Yeah they should know that already. It's hard to believe one would go on the record (well, as much as an e-mail is) saying that they didn't think this was open information.

    TFred
    I just sent this to my representatives using an online form at state.va.us.

    Dear Representative, I see that HB 2144, which attempts to prevent unauthorized access to concealed handgun permit information, is well on its way to becoming law. However, it does nothing to stop someone from accessing the same information directly from a clerk of the circuit court by virtue of Virginia statute 17.1-208: Records, etc., open to inspection; copies; exception. I hope that this message does not reach you too late in the process to amend the bill to prevent court clerks from disseminating personal information of concealed handgun permit holders. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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