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Virginia House Votes To Protect Concealed Handgun Permit Holders

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The Virginia House of Delegates has passed legislation to keep the names of concealed handgun permit holders secret.

The original Senate bill prohibited court clerks from publicly disclosing the names and information of concealed-carry permit-holders shielded by protective orders. A House panel amended the bill to include all Virginians with concealed handgun permits.

Del. Joe Morrissey argued against it on the House floor.

"With respect to building permits, or residential and commercial permits, planning and zoning permits, land use permits, transportation environmental service permits, health service permits: I'd ask the gentleman again, can he name one permit issued by a government entity that is not discoverable or cannot be disclosed?" Morrissey said.

Del. Todd Gilbert said this bill protects a fundamental right.

"There are any number of reasons why the publication of that information is not only dangerous but an invasion of privacy and, frankly, offensively stigmatizing to law-abiding people who are treated like these newspapers have treated them as, you know, people who belong on some list to be watched, much like we treat sex offenders," Gilbert said

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which can accept or reject the amendment.

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