(except for 3 localities)
Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- Last year, during the General Assembly session, Virginia Citizens Defense League learned that the Virginia State Police (VSP) was almost 6 months behind in entering CHP holder information into the Virginia VCIN database. VCIN (Virginia Criminal Information Network) is where the police check to see if a person has any warrants or convictions. It also flags whether a person has a concealed handgun permit and whether it is still valid.
The problem was a severe one. If you renewed or got your first permit in April, let's say, and you were pulled over for a traffic ticket in July, if the officer checked VCIN, he was told that your CHP was expired or didn't exist, respectively! That would put the CHP holder in a bad situation that was not his fault.
Virginia Citizens Defense League raised hell about that last year as soon as we found out.
Earlier this week I had a chat with VSP and found out that the backlog is now gone and has been since January. What happened was that VSP installed a new electronic system, which allows the Circuit Court Clerks to enter CHP information and other court information, which then updates VCIN in less than a day!
Problem solved! Er, well, almost.
Three localities still are not on the new electronic system: Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Virginia Beach. Those localities are still mailing the VSP paperwork that VSP enters manually into VCIN. That means there is AT LEAST an eight or nine calendar day lag for those localities and it could be much worse if they were to only send in the paperwork once a month. In that case the delay could be as long as 37 days!
The reason for the three localities not switching over yet is because each of them developed their own system to manage cases and CHP information, long before the VSP had such a system.
Clerk Edward Semonian told me that Alexandria plans on converting to the VSP system, hopefully later this year, but had no firm date for the switch over.
An assistant to Clerk John Frye said they currently are leery that the VSP system can handle the influx of all their records (not just CHPs). So, for the foreseeable future, they are going to continue mailing in the paperwork. I was told that they process and get the paperwork out every day. That means there is only an eight or nine day lag on VCIN being updated currently.
The Virginia Beach Clerk is in a similar mode to Fairfax County – not sure that the VSP system can handle the load. There is also a problem that the Clerk's office only has one person handling CHPs part time and the extra work to enter all the information the VSP needs could overload that person. However, the Clerk is still looking at moving over to the VSP system somewhere down the road. Currently the CHP information is being mailed once a week, unless there is an extremely high load, in which case it is mailed more quickly. Bottom line, there could be up to a 16 to 18 day lag in VCIN getting updated.
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.