Virginia GOP About To Really Annoy Gun Owners
A local television station here in Virginia reports that the Virginia Republican Party is seeking the name and address of every person in the Commonwealth with a Concealed Carry Permit for the purposes of sending them campaign mail:
PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - The Republican Party of Virginia has sent letters to circuit courts across the Commonwealth asking for the personal information of concealed weapons permit holders.
The party wants the information in order to send campaign materials to like-minded voters. However, at least one GOP supporter is crying foul.
Joseph Waymack heard about the request while at work at the Hopewell Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Friday morning. He immediately sent a competing letter to the Prince George Circuit Court. Waymack lives in Prince George and has his concealed weapons permit through the circuit court there.
Waymack also sent a letter to the Republican Party of Virginia asking them to rescind their request.
“To data mine hundreds of thousands of Virginians’ personal information is just reprehensible,” said Waymack.
I can understand the logic of what the GOP is doing here. They would like this list of CCW permit holders for the purpose of targeting them with pro-gun rights campaign literature. However, the move seems exceedingly stupid to me in two respects. First of all, most of these permit holders are likely Republican to begin with so in some sense you’re wasting money going after them like this. Second, this is likely to annoy many of these people, especially since we are less than a month away from the day a law makes exactly what they’re doing here illegal:
[T]he request comes less than a month before a Republican-backed bill banning that information from getting out becomes law.
Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain introduced the bi-partisan bill to the General Assembly. It passed with overwhelming support in March and was later signed by the Governor.
On July 1, the confidential information required for concealed carry permits will be off limits.
“This is clearly a way by the party to circumvent a law that’s about to go into effect,” said Waymack.
It certainly seems like that to me.