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If this don't get your ire, nothing will I guess.
Shedding light on concealed handguns


Christian Trejbal

Today is the start of Sunshine Week, the annual week in which we reflect on the importance of open government and public records. To mark the occasion, I want to take you on an excursion into freedom of information land. We're going to find out who in the New River Valley has a concealed handgun permit.
I can hear the shocked indignation of gun-toters already: It's nobody's business but mine if I want to pack heat.
Au contraire. Because the government handles the permitting, it is everyone's business.
There are good reasons the records are open to public scrutiny. People might like to know if their neighbors carry. Parents might like to know if a member of the car pool has a pistol in the glove box. Employers might like to know if employees are bringing weapons to the office.
And all Virginians have a stake in checking that their government is not making mistakes, for example, by issuing permits to convicted felons. Open records allow the media or any private citizen to check.
This is not about being for or against guns. There are plenty of reasons people choose to carry weapons: fear of a violent ex-lover, concern about criminals or worry that the king of England might try to get into your house. There are plenty of reasons to question the wisdom of widespread gun ownership, too.
But that's a debate for another time.
To illustrate the open government process, I set out to acquire permit lists for the New River Valley.
I first called the local circuit court clerks charged with overseeing permitting. They were helpful, as far as they could be.


Only Radford and Floyd County said they could produce a list. Giles County maintains an unofficial list but could not produce an official one. Montgomery and Pulaski counties had squat. The best they could do is determine if a specific individual had a permit.
None of that conflicts with the law. The records must be available but not necessarily in the format citizens want.
Fortunately, one of the clerks tipped me off to another avenue. The state police, she thought, maintained a master list.
I called Richmond and found out that yes, they did have a statewide list. Bingo!
Then another lesson of open government hit. A copy would cost more than $100.
Any Virginian can show up at a government office and request a public document. If it is something simple such as a council agenda, officials usually gladly duplicate it, maybe charging a few cents for the photocopy.
If it is something more complicated, government agencies may charge for the time and effort to prepare the records. In the case of concealed handgun permits, state police need to weed through them to cut out some personal data, which takes staff time.
A state that eagerly puts sex offender data online complete with an interactive map could easily do the same with gun permits, but it does not.
I bit the bullet and placed my order, saving the paper a few bucks by taking a Jan. 18 list officials had recently prepared for someone else.
The compact disc arrived last week. Names, addresses, issue and expiration dates.
About 2 percent of Virginians, 135,789 of us, have concealed handgun permits. In the New River Valley, 3,826 people have them, a slightly higher rate than in the rest of the state.
I immediately started checking some names. Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, no permit. Pulaski County Supervisor Dean Pratt, packing. Radford University President Penelope Kyle, no permit. Giles County Supervisor Paul "Chappy" Baker, packing.
Some of the names proved tricky. Dana Dwayne Munsey of Pembroke has a permit. Is that Mayor Munsey? Standoffish town officials wouldn't provide a middle name or address for confirmation, and the listed phone number is disconnected.
The list sports a dismayingly large number of typos for an official registry -- four different spellings of "Christiansburg," for example.
Local celebrities generally don't carry, but at least a half dozen elected officials do. I'll leave it to readers to figure out which ones so you can avoid annoying them at meetings.
As a Sunshine Week gift, The Roanoke Times has placed the entire database, mistakes and all, online at www.roanoke.com/gunpermits. You can search to find out if neighbors, carpool partners, elected officials or anyone else has permission to carry a gun.
Open government laws arose from distrust of government. They guarantee citizens can watch what government does in their names, including issuing gun permits.
Christian Trejbal is an editorial writer for The Roanoke Times based in the New River Valley bureau in Christiansburg.
 

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:usa: we all need to stand up for what's our's.....before its all gone
 

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Don't the idiots understand that what makes CCW's effective is that the criminals have to assume EVERYONE is packing, which discourages them from offending and victimizing? What a freaking idiot!! That is like making it public record who is undercover in a damn drug sting operation. Man that makes me mad!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since this was posted, the list of permit holders that was published on the Roanoke Times website has been removed and the Times has issued a statement. The statement is just as infuriating as the editorial. You can get that info from my post at the Black Bear Blog.
 

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So let me get this right..they posted a list on a database of everyone who was licensed to have a concealed weapon? Has anyone checked to see how many of those homes have been burgularized since then..... how many home invasions? How mnay permit holders have had to use their weapons ... because they were listed?
 

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While I hate the paper for doing this, I don't think anyone has been targeted for having or not having a CCW. This is precisely why permits should not exist the 2nd amendment clearly states the right to keep and BEAR arms shall not be infringed upon. It doesn't say that a permits is required to exercise this right nor does it allow for the establishment of such a system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another twist to this story that is just starting to surface is that the reason the paper opted to "unpublish" the list is because it had names and addresses on there that "shouldn't have been made public."

I believe they are talking about certain politicians, judges and police. So why are they privileged and the rest of us peons not.

Ithaca, I agree with your statement, however this is what we are dealing with as far as the anti-gunners go and the hypocrisy of the lawmakers forcing laws on us they are not willing to abide by themselves.

If we can expose all aspects of the truth, we are one step closer to actually making some headway in restoring our complete Second Amendment rights.
 

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Why should you ever have to apply and bribe any one to exercise a right?

Where does the constitution say your rights are only yours if you pay for them? Where does it say you need some pipsqueak political appointee's permission to exercise your rights?

If it's a right your are born with it. It's yours to lose, not some one else's to give to you or give you permission to use it. You don't have to buy it or have an address acceptable to any man in order to use it.

Where do you pay for your permit to speak? A permit to vote? Do we need to produce two forms of picture ID and get finger printed to be free from housing "the king's" troops in our homes?
 

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Ithaca, I thought for a second you were saying nobody should be able to CCW! I read it a couple times before I responded as I was a little irritated. I finally figured out that you were saying any law abiding citizen should just be able to carry without a permit, just because we have the right to. It's not like anyone really knows if you are carrying anyways. The police do not know when they pull you over. Not that I get pulled over or anything...
 

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Sorry if it wasn't clear in my post. Just for the record no one should need a permit to carry. There that should be clear. Alaska and Vermont (formerly governed by Howard Dean of all people) DO NOT require permits to carry....where are all of the crimes being comitted as a result of trusting the people?? There aren't any because criminals don't bother with CCW's and in fact some non-criminals don't either, but that is a different topic.
 

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curlymaple, do you make that furniture yourself? I had never noticed the link in your signature and followed it....that is beautiful stuff.
 

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Thanks Ithaca! Yes, I do make it all. My wife helps me every once in a while as does my best friend, but for the most part it is me. I am at the Fryeburg Fair every year if you want to stop and say hi. In the Forestry Resources Building next to the Maine Maple Syrup Growers display/cabin thing.
 

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When I was a kid I bet I saw you. I used to hit the Fryeburg Fair every year. Too far up North to travel down with 5 kids. Maybe when they get older. :rolleyes:
 

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IRRITADED ! unless i read this one wrong your saying the king has a right to come into my house just because he can. RUN FOR THE HILL'S ! is what he had better do we dont live in france here and it will snow in hell before i act like it :usa:
 

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What?? Are you talking to me??

What does France have to do with anything? A king hasn't governed what is presently the United States for over 200 years.

Could please explain.

And if you mean what I think you do, yes the government can come into your house if they want to without a warrant. Its called the USA Patriot Act which it seems most supporters of have never even read one sentence of the actual text. As for having the right to do something just because you can, that is not what I was saying. Right are granted from god. Someone more powerful than you can exercise their power and and do harm to you, but that does not make it their right.

However, the right to Keep and Bear arems is nto only a god given right, but constitutionally protected. According to the American heritage dictionary bear means "To carry from one place to another; transport." and "to carry; bring". This right is not to be infringed upon, permits do just that.
 

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Ithaca, I agree with that. My question, and maybe this is for another thread but how do we get the guns out of the hands of the wrong people?

I know taking the guns out of the law abiding citizens isn't making matters any better that's for sure.

As soon as a person commits a crime then does their right to "transport" guns get stripped? And who has the authority to determine whether a person can no longer carry a weapon? In other words should convicted felons still have that right to carry arms?
 

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Conviction of a felony should not prevent one from exercising their rights. If they are too dangerous to have a gun what the hell are they doing they out on the streets? You can kill just as easily with a blunt object or a knife.

People who are release from prison are supposed to be rehabilitated and have paid their debt to society (some people do make mistakes and change). If they are released than they should be fit for readmission to society with full rights reinstated. The problem of repeat offenders is that they should not have been released in the first place.

So to answer your question, yes felons, when released, should have all rights reinstated. It is only fair. And besides, you would be surprised what is considered a felony.
 

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srem, I am not that old... haha! I have only been at the Fryeburg Fair for 4yrs on my own and a couple yrs for the company that I used to work for but I got their spot when I left to stay home with my daughter.

Make it to the Fair! It's a blast!
 
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