Draft legislation endorsed yesterday by the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council would prohibit the state police from releasing a database of names and addresses of residents with concealed-carry gun permits, according to a story in the Roanoke Times.
The debate on the names as public records has raged on since an editorial writer from the Times provided a link to the database earlier this year. For more, see the FOI Column "For the records" from the Spring 2007 edition of The News Media & The Law.
The Times reports that permit holders’ information will still be accessible at local circuit courts where the information is kept on file. However, state database information will now be limited to statistics with personal identifiers removed.
An earlier version of the draft legislation that would have allowed gun rights groups (far and away the loudest opponents to the list’s availability in the first place) and political organizations exclusive access to personal information to recruit potential members was abandoned.