It is critical that you attend Thursday’s hearing and show your support for permitless carry!
Senate Bill 347, a bill that would recognize your right to legally carry concealed without having to obtain a Concealed Handgun License (CHL), has been under attack by some in West Virginia law enforcement in opposition to the bill who continue to spread misinformation about it. As your NRA previously reported, these are misconceptions and unfair characterizations. SB 347 has been scheduled for a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee this Thursday, March 5, at 8:30 A.M. in the House Chamber. As the hearing approaches, the attacks intensify and some law enforcement officers have now started using scare tactics to combat the truth. Your NRA would like to correct a few more of these false accusations.
Law enforcement in one county of West Virginia has been telling constituents if this legislation passes that they will no longer be issuing Concealed Handgun Licenses. This is a deliberate lie. Under SB 347, the current permitting system will remain in place so that those who obtain a permit can still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that West Virginia has with other states across the country, including neighboring Virginia and Kentucky. Many West Virginians rely on this reciprocity when traveling and hunting out of state, and thus will still need to obtain a CHL.
Some have erroneously suggested that there will be a greater public safety concern for law enforcement with this bill and that criminals will now be able to carry firearms. The truth of the matter is, criminals are already illegally carrying guns, and the passage of this bill would not make it any more likely or legal. Criminals and all prohibited people would still be barred from possessing and carrying a firearm under SB 347. Only those individuals who can legally purchase, possess and carry a firearm would be affected. Under SB 347, all federal and state prohibitors for purchase, possession and carry of a firearm would still apply. This includes:
- Felony conviction
- Conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse
- Having been adjudicated mentally incompetent
- Dishonorable discharge from the military
- Unlawful user of alcohol, controlled substances or other drugs
- Currently subject to a protective order
It is also true that conventional law enforcement training already dictates that law enforcement personnel treat everyone as if they are armed, anyway. SB 347 would not change the training mandate that is already in place.
Senate Bill 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. However, law enforcement personnel plan to pack the chamber for the hearing on Thursday in opposition to the bill. While we greatly appreciate the work of law enforcement and have worked hand in hand with them in the past in West Virginia to pass Second Amendment legislation, their statements in opposition to SB 347 are incorrect and misguided.
Please show the members of the committee the STRONG SUPPORT their constituents have for SB 347 and attend the hearing this Thursday, March 5 at 8:30 A.M. in the House Chamber. Also, please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and politely urge them to SUPPORT SB 347. Forward this email to friends, family and fellow gun owners throughout West Virginia and urge them to do the same!
House Judiciary Committee Members:
Delegate Shott (R-Mercer, 27), Chairman
Delegate Patrick Lane (R-Kanawha, 38, Vice-Chairman
Delegate Tim Manchin (D-Marion, 50)
Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson, 67)
Delegate Mike Azinger (R-Wood, 10)
Delegate Frank Deem (R-Wood, 10)
Delegate Tom Fast (R-Fayette, 32)
Delegate Michael Folk (R-Berkeley, 63)
Delegate Geoff Foster (R-Putnam, 15)
Delegate Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay, 33)
Delegate Lynwood Ireland (R-Ritchie, 07)
Delegate John McCuskey (R-Kanawha, 35)
Delegate John Overington (R-Berkeley, 62)
Delegate Kelli Sobonya (R-Cabell, 18)
Delegate Amy Summers (R-Taylor, 49)
Delegate Terry Waxman (R-Harrison, 48)
Delegate Ryan Weld (R-Brooke, 02)
Delegate Brad White (R-Kanawha, 36)
Delegate Andrew Byrd (D-Kanawha, 35)
Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia, 51)
Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio, 03)
Delegate Kenneth Hicks (D-Wayne, 19)
Delegate Dana Lynch (D-Webster, 44)
Delegate Clif Moore (D-McDowell, 26)
Delegate Larry Rowe (D-Kanawha, 36)