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West Virginia: Update on Legislative Activity in Charleston

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yesterday, February 11, House Bill 4309, sponsored by Delegate Rupie Phillips (D-24), passed in the state House Judiciary Committee and goes to the House floor for further consideration tomorrow.  HB 4309 would permit a person to legally store a firearm in a private vehicle on state Capitol grounds provided that firearm is locked away and out of view.  Please contact your state Delegate(s) and ask them to vote YES on HB 4309.  Contact information for members of the West Virginia House of Delegates can be found here.

Today, House Bill 4431, sponsored by Delegate Randy Swartzmiller (D-1), passed in the state House Natural Resources Committee with the recommendation that it waive second reading in the House Judiciary Committee and instead proceed straight to the House floor.  HB 4431 would clarify the distinction between hunters and shooters in the field and would allow shooters who are in possession of a firearm, in or near the woods, to be protected from unnecessary interference by a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer based solely on possession of a firearm.  Please contact your state Delegate(s) and ask them to vote YES on HB 4431.  Contact information for members of the West Virginia House of Delegates can be found here.

The companion bill to HB 4431, Senate Bill 298, sponsored by state Senator John Unger (D-16), passed in the state Senate Natural Resources Committee today as well.  It will now be considered by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.  Please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote YES on SB 298.  Contact information for members of this Senate committee can be found here.

Also today, Senate Bill 317, sponsored by Senator Unger, passed in the state Senate Government Organization Committee and is now pending in second referral to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  SB 317 is a statewide firearms preemption bill which would bring Charleston and three other cities that currently have and enforce local gun control ordinances into uniformity with the rest of the state.  SB 317 would establish in statute what the amendment to last year’s Home Rule hoped to accomplish, but without the necessity of an "opt in" provision.  It is important to note, however, that while the intention of this bill is to remove some of the grandfather provisions of current firearms preemption law, there are still issues we are waiting to resolve.  We anticipate these issues to be resolved in the coming days while this legislation moves through the legislative process.

Your NRA-ILA is diligently monitoring all of these pro-gun reforms and will keep you informed.  As always, watch your e-mail and the NRA-ILA website for more information.

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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.