The draft legislation would prohibit the state police from releasing its database containing the identities of state residents with concealed-carry permits. The information had been considered a public record until March, when a Roanoke Times editorial writer wrote a column encouraging readers to check the list and included a link to the database. The newspaper obtained the database under the Freedom of Information Act.
Publication of the list triggered outrage from gun owners and advocates. The newspaper removed the database after receiving hundreds of complaints.
In response to the complaints, lawmakers vowed to take steps to restrict access to the information. The state police stopped distributing the information in April on the advice of Attorney General Bob McDonnell. Draft legislation endorsed Monday by the state Freedom of Information Advisory Council would make the ban permanent.More here.