March 15, 2014
A state advisory council has endorsed a bill that would prohibit the state police from releasing its database of Virginians with concealed handgun permits.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council began looking into the issue after The Roanoke Times published an online database earlier this year containing the personal information of permit holders in Virginia.
The database accompanied a column on Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote the importance of open government and records.
The newspaper removed the database after receiving hundreds of complaints.
The state police stopped distributing the information in April on the advice of Attorney General Bob McDonnell. The draft legislation endorsed Monday by the council would make the ban permanent.
Records of the permits would still be available at circuit courts, which issue the permits.