Yesterday, Senate Bill 317, sponsored by state Senator John Unger (D-16), was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 317 was intended to be a statewide firearms preemption bill which would have brought Charleston and three other cities that currently have and enforce local gun control ordinances into uniformity with the rest of the state. However, the Committee Substitute offered and adopted severely undermines the integrity of SB 317 and would be a major setback for law-abiding gun owners across West Virginia.
SB 317, as originally introduced, would strengthen current firearms preemption laws by removing existing “grandfather” clauses for certain localities to ensure a uniform set of firearms laws statewide. This would eliminate provisions that create confusion and inconsistency for law-abiding citizens such as the three-day waiting period for handgun purchases in Charleston.
This is long overdue legislation for residents and businesses in cities like Charleston and Martinsburg who have been subject to unreasonable and restrictive local rules and regulations on legal firearms. Your NRA is continuing to work with state legislators to craft a floor substitute that would be most advantageous to firearm owners in the Mountain State, but your help is needed! Please call AND e-mail your two state Senators TODAY and ask them to support a floor amendment to Senate Bill 317 that would reinstate the original language as introduced. Click here for your state Senators’ contact information.