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West Virginia: 2011 Legislative Wrap-Up

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When the 2011 legislative session adjourned on March 18, two pro-gun bills died in the House Judiciary Committee, forcing law-abiding gun owners and your NRA to revisit these important issues again in the future.  House Bill 3084 would have cleaned up current West Virginia law pertaining to the adequate training that is necessary for concealed carry applicants.  House Bill 3085 would have made it illegal for doctors to ask their patients questions regarding the possession, ownership, and storage of one’s firearms.

Current statute describes various types of qualifying courses for concealed carry applicants, but specifically states that “any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course” will satisfy such requirement.  The problem often experienced has been in the interpretation of the required content of these courses, with some of the issuing agencies erroneously suggesting that a “live fire” component is necessary for adequate training.  House Bill 3084 would have corrected the vague language in order to fix this problem, since “live fire” has never been a training requirement for concealed carry.  The original authors of the law agreed with the NRA and were in full support of the passage of this necessary clean-up legislation. 

House Bill 3085 would have expressly prohibited physicians from making any sort of oral or written inquiry into the ownership, possession, or storage of firearms where the inquiry has no relation to the practice of medicine or the medical condition of the patient.  This situation has continuously occurred throughout the United States and is an unwarranted violation of one’s privacy.  HB 3085 would have also established penalties for physicians who continue make such inquiries. 

One anti-gun bill was introduced this session, and it is identical to legislation that was defeated the previous year.  Under current West Virginia and federal law, a protective order can only prohibit firearm possession if it’s issued when both parties are present, so both sides of the story can be heard.  House Bill 2346 would have removed the requirement that both parties be present at the hearing, therefore authorizing the confiscation of firearms without due process.  The NRA was very much opposed to this legislation and HB 2346 died in the House committee to which it was referred.

Thank you to all of the NRA members who took the time to contact their West Virginia legislators this session.  The NRA will continue to fight for your Second Amendment rights!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.