The Republican Party of Virginia has rescinded its Freedom of Information request to Circuit Court Clerks across Virginia to access the information of concealed weapon permit holders across the Commonwealth.
The Party intended to use the information to spread its political message leading up to the fall elections. The release of the information will be illegal in less than a month after the passage of a new law championed by Republicans during the past legislative session.
In a letter via e-mail message to Clerks across Virginia, RPV Executive Director Anthony Reedy explains that the high cost of the request made it impossible for the party to go forward with their voter education effort.
"Unfortunatley the average cost for producing these documents based on the information we have recieved so far would be more than $1,000 per office," wrote Reedy. "At an estimated cost of more than $121,000 for mailing addresses alone, this method of communication is no longer cost effective."
While Reedy says in his letter that the vast majority of the Clerks were "helpful" and "courteous" NBC12 learned that at least 16 Clerks outright refused the RPV request.
In one case, J. Jack Kennedy Jr. the Clerk of Wise County and the City of Norton wrote to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to ask for his legal opinion to determine if the release of the information was in fact legal, even before the law goes into effect.
See letter from the RPV to Circuit Court Clerks below:
See the letter from Kennedy to Cuccinelli below: