The Virginia General Assembly on Thursday passed legislation that would seal the records of all concealed handgun permits, handing a victory to gun owners who said the measure would ensure their privacy and perhaps their safety from criminals who might use such information to target them.
“We’ve been wanting this for years,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. “It wasn’t as much about guns as it was about privacy.”
The bill – which began in the evenly divided Senate as a measure that would shield only the identities of permit holders who also had protective orders – was later amended in the GOP-led House to prohibit disclosure of information on anyone with a concealed handgun permit.
The House’s version carried by a 76 to 23 vote. On Thursday, the Senate passed the amended bill by a vote of 31 to 9. It now heads to the governor’s desk.