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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Compromise on Concealed Weapon Permits in VA...?

The state police would withhold information about Virginians with permits to carry concealed handguns and allow no exceptions for political organizations and firearms advocates under legislation endorsed Monday by a state advisory council.

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.

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