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Public Has Right To Gun Information

February 23, 2008
The Intelligencer
To their credit, many members of the West Virginia Legislature are willing to change their minds about important issues. Having heard arguments that persuade them to support a bill one day, they display the character and leadership to alter their stances when presented with more thoughtful points of view.

That appears to be what happened with a bill in the House of Delegates, to make it virtually impossible for the public to obtain information about those in our communities who obtain permits to carry concealed firearms.

At one point it appeared that the bill would pass. But late this week, House leaders placed it on the “inactive” calendar.

What happened? Proponents of the measure had argued that those with gun permits have a right to privacy. Specifically, they cited victims of domestic violence.

But this week, lawmakers began to ponder the other side of the question — the public’s right to know. Many now seem to understand that society is better served when the public is aware of who among us may be carrying concealed guns and, perhaps, that some are not doing so legally.

Lawmakers were right to change course on the bill. They should hold to their current stance on it.
 
 

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