Today, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed two more NRA-backed bills into law, House Bill 2471 and Senate Bill 435.
House Bill 2471, sponsored by state House Speaker Rick Thompson (D-19), will prohibit the restriction of the lawful use, carrying, transfer, transportation, storage or display of a firearm or ammunition during any declared state of emergency. HB 2471 will protect law-abiding citizens in West Virginia from a violation of their constitutional rights reminiscent of what occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where law-abiding citizens were stripped of their lawfully owned firearms by overzealous government officials leaving them defenseless and unable to protect their families and property. This law is effective July 10, 2013.
Senate Bill 435, sponsored by state Senator Herb Snyder (D-16) and amended by state Delegate Patrick Lane (R-38), will require Charleston and any other city participating in and benefiting from the underlying bill's Home Rule program that currently has and enforces local gun control ordinances to be consistent and uniform with the rest of the state. For those localities that take advantage of the Home Rule authority delegated by the state legislature, SB 435 will effectively eliminate municipal gun control restrictions such as the three-day waiting period and gun rationing for handgun purchases in Charleston. This law is effective July 1, 2013.
The NRA thanks Governor Tomblin for signing these two bills into law, the state legislators who voted for them and NRA members who contacted their state lawmakers in support of these reforms.