Fixing the addresses
Yesterday, The Legal Genealogist asked readers to join the Virginia Genealogical Society in asking the Legislature there to amend a law that has had the unforeseen effect of closing off public access to important court records that are, in many cases, more than 100 years old.1
That blog post — read it here — explained that permits to carry a concealed weapon have been public records, included in court order books, since the 1800s in Virginia. In 2013, the Virginia Legislature passed a law to make information about those concealed weapons permits private — but didn’t include a time limit.2
So the bill — designed to keep criminals from getting information about people who own guns today — has resulted in a major loss of access even to records from long, long ago.
A bill to add a five-year time limit is now pending in the Legislature and could come up for a first consideration as early as today, and the Virginia Genealogical Society has asked us all for our support for 2014 VA HB 100 offered by Virginia Delegate Scott Lingamfelter.
Those of us with Virginia roots can explain how this bill hurts us personally, and those who may not be as closely involved in Virginia research can still add their voice with this message:
The message we want to get across is our own variation on the following that we can use as a model:
I urge you to support HB 100 of Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, now before the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee. This bill will cure an unintended consequence of prior legislation which has denied researchers access to Virginia historical public records going back to the 1700’s.
The Library of Virginia has had to withdraw 222 reels of microfilm from research access. Local clerks have been compelled to deny researchers access to county order books and indices from the 1800’s.
Please cure this barrier to genealogical and historical research in Virginia by passing HB100.
Unfortunately, both the blog post and the email version of the blog post turned the email addresses of the legislators assigned to the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee into code that many readers couldn’t use.
So if you were one of those readers, and didn’t join in this important fight because of the address issue, here’s another try at a list of the Delegates on the committee to contact to urge them to support HB 100. What you’ll need to do is copy and paste the paragraph into a text editor and then replace the (at) characters with the at symbol — @. THEN copy and paste the paragraph into your email program address box.
DelALopez(at)house.virginia.gov; DelBCline(at)house.virginia.gov; DelBFowler(at)house.virginia.gov; DelCHead(at)house.virginia.gov; DelEFiller-Corn(at)house.virginia.gov; DelIOQuinn(at)house.virginia.gov; DelJEdmunds(at)house.virginia.gov; DelJMorefield(at)house.virginia.gov; DelKKory(at)house.virginia.gov; DelMBerg(at)house.virginia.gov; DelMFariss(at)house.virginia.gov; DelMSimon(at)house.virginia.gov; DelMWebert(at)house.virginia.gov; DelNRush(at)house.virginia.gov; DelPHope(at)house.virginia.gov; DelRMorris(at)house.virginia.gov; DelRTyler(at)house.virginia.gov; DelSSurovell(at)house.virginia.gov; DelTGilbert(at)house.virginia.gov; DelTWilt(at)house.virginia.gov; DelTWright(at)house.virginia.gov
And if that doesn’t work… let me know and I’ll try, try again! Having all of our voices heard in favor of open public records is too important to be defeated by a coding glitch!