First the bad news. Before I relay the bad news, allow me to relay a conversation I had nearly a year ago with WVCDL Board member Cole McCulloch. He was not a board member at the time.
“Keith, I really wish I could be more active in the WVCDL, you guys are really fighting the fight, and I feel guilty for not being in it day to day.”
“Cole, don’t worry about it. You run this massive range facility, and what good is having the rights if we have no place to exercise them? What you do here is just as critical as what we do in the legislature.”
And now that is under siege. As are you, potentially.
Cole runs Peacemaker National Training Center, which is a world-class firearms training and shooting facility. And a neighbor in Virginia has filed a nuisance suit in West Virginia court regarding the noise.
It is our opinion that the suit is without merit, and baseless in WV law. And that’s outrageous enough. But in this particular case, it pales next to the real problem.
The plaintiff, whom I won’t name, but you may find in media soon, has filed a discovery request. Those not familiar with the way suits work, these are requests for information from the opposing party that may have some bearing on the case. Often, they’re used to search for and find evidence.
The problem is not that discovery is happening. The problem is the scope of that discovery. The plaintiff has asked the courts to force Peacemaker to hand over every member’s personal information. The list of personal information they’ve requested is astonishing and could go down as detailed as social security numbers.
That’s pretty bad, right? No judge in his right mind would allow that information out, no? Except this judge has. He’s ordered Peacemaker to hand over the personal information of everyone who’s trained there. Every bit of info they have on every customer is covered in this discovery order.
That’s bad. And if you live elsewhere, you might be tempted to say, “well, good thing that didn’t happen at my range.”
Except for the legal concept of “stare decisis.” Under this, judges honor previous rulings of other judges, typically until they are overturned in an appeals court. So when some anti-gun loon comes after YOUR range, well, the precedent has been set. Out goes your info.
As of yesterday, the WVCDL has joined a “motion to intervene.” I had my own name added as well, since I personally have trained at Peacemaker.
Additionally, SB575 strengthens range protections, and it is moving in the Senate. Contact both your senators and delegates, and ask them to support that bill.
Thanks to your calls, all three sponsors of HB3017 (destruction of Castle Doctrine) have withdrawn their support. The WVCDL half-suspects a communication error between the sponsors and bill drafting. We talked with Delegate Hornbuckle and understand what he was trying to do, but the language that came out was a nightmare.
Regardless, good job.
HB2562 continues to languish in Judiciary. If you haven’t called Chairman John Shott’s office yet to voice your support, please do so. (304) 340-3252