Yesterday, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed Senate Bill 317 into law, and with it, an improvement to West Virginia firearms laws that your NRA has been fighting to fix for more than a decade. SB 317 passed in the House of Delegates by a 92-5 vote on March 8, after passing unanimously in the state Senate on February 25.
SB 317, as enacted into law, is a critical pro-gun reform bill which brings Charleston and three other cities that currently have and enforce local gun control ordinances into uniformity with the rest of the state. SB 317 will do the following:
- Removes the “grandfathered” regulations in Charleston and other municipalities that allow regulations like a three-day “waiting period” on handguns and the purchase of one-handgun-a-month (gun rationing).
- Eliminates the ability of municipalities to regulate the carrying of firearms in municipally-owned property that is rented out to private businesses, such as those in Martinsburg.
- Limits those buildings a municipality may restrict and regulate the carrying of a firearm to itemized and specific locations, like courthouses and city halls.
- Allows for the storage of firearms in personal vehicles on municipal property when locked and out of sight.
This resounding victory must be credited to our members, who tirelessly worked to ensure that passage of this bill was possible. We also thank the state lawmakers below who went above and beyond this year and were critical in seeing this bill through to the end. The NRA’s gratitude cannot be conveyed enough to the following state legislators for their unwavering support:
Senate President Jeff Kessler (D-2)
Senator John Unger (D-16)
Senator Greg Tucker (D-11)
Senator Daniel Hall (D-9)
Senator Bob Beach (D-13)
Senator Mike Green (D-9)
Senator Herb Snyder (D-16)
Senator Sam Cann (D-12)
Senator Bob Williams (D-14)
Senator Bill Laird (D-10)
Senator Ron Miller (D-10)
Senator Chris Walters (R-8)
Senator Dave Sypolt (R-14)
Senator Evan Jenkins (R-5)
House Speaker Tim Miley (D-48)
Delegate Harry Keith White (D-21)
Delegate Randy Swartzmiller (D-1)
Delegate Rupie Phillips (D-24)
Delegate Justin Marcum (D-20)
Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-55)
Delegate Mark Hunt (D-36)
Delegate Tim Armstead (R-40)
Delegate Patrick Lane (R-38)
Delegate John O’Neal (R-28)
These elected officials were critical to the passage of this significant pro-gun legislation, not only with their votes, but also with their outspoken support and actions throughout the entire 2014 legislative session.
We also thank Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) for signing this very important bill into law, and continuing his solid and consistent support for Second Amendment rights in the Mountain State.
There are still two remaining pro-gun bills for Governor Tomblin to sign, House Bill 4186 and House Bill 4431, but we fully expect those to be enacted into law in the coming days. Please stay tuned to your e-mail inbox and www.nraila.org for further updates.