This week in Charleston has seen the passage of two NRA-backed bills out of their respective committees and the introduction of multiple bills that stand to benefit both gun owners and hunters alike in the Mountain State.
This morning, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed House Bill 2128. HB 2128 will now be sent to the full House for their consideration and vote.
House Bill 2128, introduced by state Delegate Gary Howell (R-56), would recognize the right of individuals with a concealed handgun license to legally store a firearm in their private vehicle on state Capitol grounds.
Yesterday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 284, NRA-backed “shall sign” legislation, unanimously. SB 284 was sent to the full Senate for their consideration and vote.
Introduced by state Senator David Nohe (R-3), SB 284 would require that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) within 30 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it. By removing any possibility of personal bias and creating a statewide standard, SB 284 would protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners across the Mountain State. This legislation has also gained the support of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, the issuing authority for NFA-regulated firearms.
Also, two additional pro-gun bills were introduced this week.
House Joint Resolution 12, introduced by state Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-55), would enshrine in the West Virginia Constitution the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife and ensure the preservation of West Virginia's rich hunting heritage. This proposed constitutional amendment would ensure that sportsmen will continue to be used as the state’s responsible game managers.
Senate Bill 347, introduced by state Senator Dave Sypolt (R-14), would recognize your right to legally carry a concealed firearm without the burdensome requirement of having to obtain a costly and time restrictive Concealed Handgun License (CHL).
SB 347 is a necessary update to concealed carry statutes in West Virginia, allowing law-abiding gun owners the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones. In West Virginia, it is already legal to carry a firearm openly, as long as the individual is not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. However, under current law, if a firearm becomes covered by a coat or if a woman prefers to carry a firearm for self-protection in her purse, one would need to possess a concealed pistol permit.
This permitless carry legislation gives you the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for each individual, based on your attire, gender and/or physical attributes. Also critically important, this legislation would keep in place the current permitting system so that people who obtain a permit could still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that West Virginia has with other states across the country.
Your NRA-ILA will keep you informed as these bill continue to progress through the legislative process. In the meantime, please continue to monitor your email inbox and www.nrail.org for further updates.