During the process towards passage today, three unnecessary and misleading amendments were offered by state Senator Mike Romano (D-12) on the Senate floor that would have intruded into and hindered the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Thanks to common sense and bipartisan support, these three amendments were overwhelmingly defeated.
SB 347, introduced by state Senator Dave Sypolt (R-14), would recognize your right to legally carry a concealed firearm without the requirement of having to obtain a costly and time-restrictive Concealed Handgun License (CHL). This 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, he or she would need to possess a concealed pistol permit.
SB 347 gives you the freedom to choose the best method of carrying, 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.
SB 347 now heads to the state House of Delegates for consideration. We expect this bill to be assigned to committee in the coming days and a hearing soon to follow.
Former New York City Mayor and billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, along with his anti-gun groups and agenda, has made his presence known in Charleston in the last few days. The overwhelming support from the Senate today is just the first step toward this common sense legislation becoming law. However, we cannot begin to take this first victory for granted. Members are encouraged to call and email their state Delegate TODAY, and respectfully let them know that you fully support SB 347 without amendments.
This NRA-backed bill stands to benefit law-abiding gun owners throughout West Virginia. Thank you to all of our members for their continued support of this bill. Passage of SB 347 could not have been done without your thousands of calls and emails.
Your NRA would also like to thank those Senators who sponsored and co-sponsored this critical legislation.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 347:
Senator Dave Sypolt (R-14)
Senator Robert Beach (D-13)
Senator Craig Blair (R-15)
Senator Ryan Ferns (R-1)
Senator Ed Gaunch (R-8)
Senator Daniel Hall (R-9)
Senator Robert Karnes (R-11)
Senator Kent Leonhardt (R-2)
Senator Mark Maynard (R-6)
Senator Bob Williams (D-14)