WV House wavers on CHL privacy


February 21, 2008, 12:02 PM
Excerpt from the WVCDL alert that went out today:

This morning’s Charleston Gazette is reporting that many members of the House of Delegates are going wobbly on House Bill 4026, which will close public access to concealed handgun license records.

Please go to http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Districts/district_zip/DISTMEMBERS_5_DIG.CFM , enter your ZIP code, and call your delegate(s) this morning and tell them that you want HB 4026 passed as-is, without any amendments that would allow anyone, for any reason or no reason at all, to find out whether you have a CHL. The overwhelming majority of states now bar public access to concealed handgun license records; West Virginia is in a distinct minority of states that allow any form of public access to CHL records.

Opponents of HB 4026 say that, somehow, allowing public access to these records may assist in preventing disqualified individuals from getting licenses. Nonsense! West Virginia, like almost 40 other states, has a shall-issue law based on objective licensing criteria under which an applicant is either qualified and shall be issued a license or is not qualified and shall be denied a license. There is no discretion whatsoever for a sheriff to deny a license based on anything other than the statutory qualification criteria. Whenever a person applies for a CHL, whether it is an application for a new license or a renewal, the sheriff performs a criminal background check on that person through the State Police criminal records database and the FBI’s Interstate Identification Index.

Again, please call your delegate(s) today and tell them you want HB 4026 passed as-is. If you need to place a toll-free phone call, you may call 1-877-565-3447 during normal business hours and ask to be connected to a particular delegate’s office.

If you're a citizen of WV, and not a member of the WVCDL, or at LEAST subscribed to the mailing list, please sign up here:

You should read the WV Gazette article as well. It's quite a trainwreck. In addition to sending my thoughts to my representatives (a number of the antis represent my county) I've posted a blog entry on it here:

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Media Hypocracy on the Bill of Rights

Recently, apparently at the urging of West Virginia's media organizations, the House has wavered on a bill that would protect the private information of WV's holders of concealed handgun permits. The sources of this hesitancy appear to be mostly from the newspapers, and particularly the Gazette. However this is being manifested in the House.

Delegate Carrie Webster, who once favorably compared Europe's gun laws to our own in a personal email to me, said ""The West Virginia Press Association and others raised some valid issues about the press' right to know." I'll believe that when Betty Chilton (publisher of the Gazette) publishes her home address. I think we the public deserve to know who's exercising their first amendment rights if they want to print those who exercise their second amendment rights.

And listen to what Delegate Brown said in the Gazette: "I read those lists so I know who to stay away from," she [Delegate Bonnie Brown] said. "This goes against the public's right to know."

From this we can see that Delegate Brown (D-Kanawha) does not wish to be in the company of background-checked, criminal record free, law abiding citizens. Perhaps she prefers the company of criminals. Is Delegate Brown's home address published anywhere? I think the public has a right to know.

I'm giving away a $25.00 annual membership in the WVCDL to one lucky commenter who responds to this post within the next 24 hours.

And if anyone has Elizabeth Early ("Betty") Chilton's home address, I'll gladly publish it here.

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February 21, 2008, 05:41 PM

Just for fun, I dug some relevant names and home addresses (including the owner of the Gazette) out of the tax databases. I added 'em to my blog post. You know. In the interest of the public's right to know.

February 22, 2008, 12:19 PM
Sig, I think someone needs to publish the list of the Gazettes subscribers and advertisers. After all, its for the best of the public interest.

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