Second Amendment attorneys in Virginia should be glad about recent legislative activity in Richmond. One prime example is SB 1335. On February 14, 2013, the Virginia Senate passed SB 1335, a bill protecting the personal information of those applying for a Concealed Handgun Permit. If signed by Governor McDonnell, this law would protect the confidentiality of concealed handgun permittee personal information.  (Author’s Update: Signed into law by Governor McDonnell on March 20, 2013.)

Senator Obenshain was the original sponsor of Senate Bill 1335, which was originally intended to shield information about permits obtained by those protected by a protective order seeking confidentiality. However, the House of Delegates modified the bill to put all concealed handgun permit records off limits, and the Senate voted 31-9 to pass the House version.

If Governor McDonnell signs the bill, the concealed handgun records maintained by the Circuit Courts would be off limits except to law enforcement. If signed into law, Senate Bill 1335 would amend  VA Code § 18.2-308 as follows:

The clerk of court may shall withhold from public disclosure the social security number applicant’s name and any other information contained in a permit application in response to a request to inspect or copy any such permit application or any order issuing a concealed handgun permit, except that such social security number information shall not be withheld from any law-enforcement officer acting in the performance of his official duties. – SB 1335

I first met Senator Obenshain in April of 2010 at a meeting in Harrisonburg to promote technological alliances between universities and businesses in Virginia. I admired his ability to bridge the gap and get things done.  I am thrilled that Senator Obenshain is running for Attorney General.

Senator Obenshain understands how to defend liberty and protect Virginians. “Once SB 1335 is signed into law, law-abiding Virginians will no longer risk having their private information disclosed simply because they choose to exercise a constitutional right.” said Sen. Mark Obenshain.

If you have not exercised your constitutional right and are feeling inclined to do so, you can take a concealed carry online safety course, then apply for your concealed handgun permit at your local Circuit Court.  Virginia is an open carry state, which means you don’t need a permit to openly carry your pistol.  However, I would advise you to get a concealed handgun permit if you are serious about exercising your constitutional right and don’t want to raise any eyebrows.

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