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Monday, July 1, 2013

CHP Privacy Effective Today

July 1 is the day that legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor become law.  At 12:00 AM this morning, Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) holders can rest assured that their private information is no longer available to the general public or the media by request.  The only people besides the Clerk of the Circuit Court who have access to the information now is law enforcement.

We can thank State Senator Mark Obenshain, who is currently running to be Virginia's next Attorney General, for this important protection for CHP holders.  As originally introduced, Obenshain's bill, SB1335 would have protected the personal information of CHP holders who had a protective order in effect.  But when the bill was being heard in the House of Delegates, it was amended to protect all CHP holders, with Obenshain's blessing.  This by far was the most important piece of 2nd Amendment related legislation that passed the General Assembly this year.

Also becoming law today are:

Senate Bill 1363, patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27), and House Bill 2317, patroned by Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51), are companion bills that provide that residency for members of the armed forces shall include both the member’s permanent duty post and the nearby state in which the military personnel resides for the purposes of firearms purchases.

House Bill 1582, patroned by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88).  The final version of this bill permits armed security officers licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services to carry firearms onto private or religious school property if the officer is hired by the private or religious school to provide protection to students and employees.  This bill also prohibits the Board of Social Services from adopting any regulations that would prevent a child day center from hiring an armed security officer.

House Bill 1833, patroned by Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31), creates separate sections to address the general criminal prohibition against carrying concealed firearms; the requirements for applying for a concealed handgun permit; the process the circuit court follows in reviewing, issuing, and denying permits; the appeals process procedures for nonresidents to obtain permits; the renewal process disqualifications; and other procedural issues.

Much if this year's General Assembly Session was spent defeating bad gun control bills in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting.  VSSA is proud to say thanks to our members and our lobbying efforts, all of those bills, that included bans on semi-automatic rifles and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, were defeated.

2 comments:

Michael_- said...

So, my question is: given this new law, who now has the right/privilege/access to thie information covered by the law.

VSSA Legislative Chairman said...

The information is only open to law enforcement. Individuals and the media cannot FOIA the information nor can they go into individual clerk offices and copy the information.