YOUR VIEWS | Why Fingerprint Law-Abiding Citizens?


To the editor,

Its hard to believe that despite City Manager Jim Hartmanns warning that Alexandria faces its most serious fiscal crisis in 30 years (Budgets Proposed With Cuts, Layoffs, February 12-18, 2009), the City Council resists repealing their ordinance requiring concealed handgun permit (CHP) applicants to undergo police fingerprinting. As a result, each year the city forgoes many thousands of dollars of CHP application revenue to pay for FBI fingerprint processing.

Most Virginia localities, including Fairfax County and Richmond, choose to keep the money and not fingerprint. Fingerprint checks have become obsolete under the instant check system used to buy guns and run background checks. And besides, the city must by state statute destroy all fingerprint records after processing the application anyway.

A few months ago, upon discovering that CHP fingerprinting was a money loser that diverted critical police resources, the County of Spotsylvania repealed their fingerprinting requirement. Alexandria should follow suit.

Mike Stollenwerk
Alexandria, VA
Co-founder of