West Virginia –-(Ammoland.com)-The West Virginia Citizens Defense League had a good legislative session. We had three solid gun bills signed by the Governor.
But there was one legislative defeat, and we are already seeing the fallout from that defeat.
Protecting the private information of gun owners and Concealed Handgun Licensees was a high priority this session for both the West Virginia Citizens Defense League and the NRA. I can tell you that both organizations fought hard to convince the legislature to make this information exempt from FOIA requests. The privacy bill died in Corey Palumbo's (D-Kanawaha) Senate Judiciary Committee.
Why was this bill such a high priority for us? Ask the Wheeling Intelligencer. Ohio County Sheriff, Patrick Butler, and Hancock County Sheriff, Ralph Butler have both released statements that they have denied FOIA requests for the private information of all CHL holders in their counties.
In other states, such requests have been used to create google maps, directly showing the homes of people with permits.
This will make YOUR home a target of theft, as thieves will know you likely have firearms in your home. Any of you who have domestic violence or other protective orders due to a violent ex or other situation, will have your address provided to your abuser.
It is the latter situation which angers me the most. Have an abusive ex? Carry a gun to effectively protect yourself? Well, the government's going to wind up giving that ex a map to your new home.
That aside, rest assured, if other sheriffs release this information, you will be interactively mapped like a sex offender.
Further, it is the opinion of the WVCDL, that the two sheriffs above who did the right thing, and any other sheriff that denies these requests, will ultimately lose in court on a FOIA appeal, and be forced to hand over your information.
Take Action Now – Legislature
The WVCDL and NRA stood face-to-face with leadership during this legislative session, and warned that this would happen.
Among the leadership, only Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha) stood against you, and killed the privacy bill.
In polite, but firm terms, email Corey Palumbo, and tell him he is the reason this is happening. Remind him that in 2016, you do not have to be a resident of Kanawha County to donate to his opponent's campaign. Feel free to copy Senate President Jeff Kessler. Though, be polite to Senator Kessler. He kept his promises to the NRA and WVCDL this session. But he should be aware of what's happening, and how West Virginians feel about it.
Again, remember that Senator Kessler did well by gun owners this past session. Senator Palumbo killed the privacy bill, allowing this to happen.
Take Action Now – Your Sheriff
Locate your sheriff's contact information here.
Contact them and ask them to do the right thing and deny any FOIA request for your information.
Ask them to urge their members to protect your privacy. Ask them to endorse a bill next year to make this information private by law.Keith Morgan President, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
The West Virginia Citizens Defense League (WVCDL) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, all-volunteer, grassroots organization of concerned West Virginians who support our individual right to keep and bear arms for defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use, as protected by the state constitution and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Visit: www.wvcdl.org