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March 13, 2007

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Virginia Paper Publishes List of Concealed-Carry Permittees

Ostensibly out to celebrate Sunshine Week (“in which we reflect on the importance of open government and public records”), The Roanoke Times published a list of all the concealed-carry permittees in the state—over 135,000 names and addresses—on their website.

“I can hear the shocked indignation of gun-toters already: It's nobody's business but mine if I want to pack heat,” penned the paper’s editorial writer Christian Trejbal on Sunday. “Au contraire. Because the government handles the permitting, it is everyone's business.”

Since then, the newspaper has removed the database because it including “names that should not have been released.”

What’s your reaction?

Comments

John

Well this hit close to home, as I live near Roanoke. Everyone that I know was very upset about it and nobody things it should have been published. Some even said they would have rather seen a list of people receiving govt help because they have AIDS, or a list of convicted felons that are still out on the street. The writer was correct, Its out business whether we want to pack heat, and we dont want anyone to know but us!

George Steiner

If we follow that logic, everyone who receives any form of governmental assistence oe permit should be on a similar list (including the CIA, Secret Service, FBI and Police).

Matt

How about a list of everyone who receives welfare and an explanation of why they receive it? This newspaper probably has the same leftist journalists that would complain if a mosque were wire tapped by the FBI.

BrdDWN

Christian Trejbal better be on that list. Or atleast watching hisi back every ten seconds.

Hal Herring

Internetters,

Why is there an uproar over this?

Why should anybody be ashamed or secretive about getting a CCW --which must be on the public record--or having a newspaper, for whatever (yes, questionable for sure) reason, publish their name as an armed citizen? Apparently the editor of the Roanoke Times has some problem with people who want to take the responsibility to protect themselves and their families,and do so in a legal manner. But why should anybody who is on the list care? The list is a public record, and carrying a firearm for self defense is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it's something to be proud of.

America is a place where the public has much more information about the workings of government than in other countries. that is one reason we have less corruption and more honest, harder-working public servants than in other countries (think: Mexico, which has no sunshine laws). Citizens should celebrate the fact that there is an open flow of information here. Be proud that you are on the list of concealed carry permittees. Be proud of your country, and the editors, even the ones you disagree with, who work to keep the information available to us all.

Hal Herring

Mark M

Many items are a matter of public record. The paper made a grave mistake in publishing the list. Is the paper going to publish the list of all those delinquent on their taxes each year? Thats also a public record. Or maybe they could publish all the traffic citations for every person in the state. Those too are public record. Where will the minds of the newspaper owner think to look next time to invade privacy.
Public records are there for those who want to look into it for themselves, not for one person to show the world. It sounds like an antigunner thought it was a good idea.

Mike

look at it this way, if any criminals try and rob anyone on the list, they have no defense if they get shot. They were already warned publicly that the person carried a firearm.....

Dan

The point is not a question about whether we are ashamed or not of our permits, or trying to be "secretive". And I won't even get into my personal belief that I as a US citizen in good standing with a good record, it IS my right to own a gun privately. I've had my background check and have been found to be qualified. No...the danger here is that with that list, every criminal now KNOWS who has weapons and who doesn't. i.e., let's make it easy for burglers. We'll give them names and addresses to go with it. The Roanoke Times may have pulled it already, but it may be too late. Hitting print is pretty fast. And now, even better, every criminal knows that it's public, and all they have to do is ask the State Police for the list. Why don't we also make it so that we have to make social security numbers available, as well, since our taxpayers dollars fund that program? We, as Virginians, and as the country as a whole, have entered a new, sad, but predicted, era.

Hal Herring

Mike,

You've got an excellent point.

I think you trumped me.

Hal

Charlie

I doubt Christian Trejbal has any idea that you don't have to be gun toting freak to desire a CCW. Also that he may not understaned that he may have gave an abusive husband or a fellon getting paroled the opertunity to google a name to see if it comes up on a site that could tell them if they are now armed and where they live. I'm all for 1st & 2nd amendment rights but there is no excuse to endanger someones life to protect those rights. I hope Christian Trejbal's next writing isn't his right to protect a source that was able to find the location of that armed witness. Just because it's imposible to aquire a list of those cd individuals whom carry with out permits, doesn't make it right to post a list of the law abiding whom carry with permits.

Mike Diehl

@Hal Herring

The point is not one of legality or of accessibility. It is one of motives and common sense. Publishing such a list serves no public interest, can potentially increase risk to those so listed, and may have been intended to cause fear, doubt, or concern about the personal qualities of the people listed.

It's rather like the Val Plame thing. Yeah, writing about her wasn't a crime. It was just a stupid, politically motivated attempt at harrassment.

This sort of thing shouldn't be done. And it makes a good case for the elimination of state-level regulations on firearm ownership. If no one maintained lists of licensed carriers then there'd be no way to "out" them.

Dan

@Mike:
I agree with most of your points with one exception: "...good case for the elimination of state-level regulations on firearm ownership." Granted, keeping this list private might be (or could be) a federally-governed privacy issue, but in the bigger picture, federal oversight of gun ownership in general is an extremely dangerous idea. The whole point of states' rights is to prevent federal government from unilaterally taking all control. The only protection at the federal level that gun owners have is the 2nd amendment, and even it's not much protection anymore with the current liberal views on gun ownership in general. Having state-level control is one of the few protections that we still have. Granted, it's still like trading up a hardened criminal for a petty thief, but in the big scheme of things, state level administration is the lesser of two evils.

If we give the feds control of the regulations, you might as well go ahead and turn your guns over now and get it over with. We'll probably get to that point anyway in the near future, but that's no excuse to give up the fight at the moment.....

Tom

Their list is out of date. they posted the address where I applied for a permit years ago. I live in Midlothian now




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