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Legislation keeping the names of concealed handgun permit holders secret is headed to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's desk.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain's (R-Harrisonburg) original bill allowed for the names of permit applicants shielded by a protective order to be kept secret. Then, the House of Delegates expanded the bill to cover all concealed carry permit holders. Obenshain welcomed the change.
The Senate voted 31-9 to accept the House amendment without debate on Thursday. Supporters of the bill have said it protects the privacy of law-abiding gun owners. They criticized two newspapers, one in Roanoke, Va. and another in New York, for disclosing the identities of local handgun permit holders.
Open-government groups opposed the expanded bill, saying it would impede the public's ability to monitor government regulation of a constitutionally protected activity.