This week, NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation--Senate Bill 347--overwhelmingly passed the West Virginia state House. SB 347 is a commonsense update to concealed carry statutes in West Virginia that would recognize a citizen's right to legally carry concealed without having to obtain a Concealed Handgun License (CHL), and allow law-abiding gun owners the ability to better protect themselves and their loved ones.
SB 347 gives citizens the freedom to choose the best method of carrying, based on their attire, gender and/or physical attributes. Also 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.
Even though this is an issue being addressed by the West Virginia legislature and NOT Congress, Senator Joe Manchin issued a press release calling a bill that passed with broad, bi-partisan support both “irresponsible” and “dangerous”.
According to Manchin, he opposes SB 347 because it "would allow a person to carry a concealed gun without a permit or requirement of safety training…" In West Virginia, it is legal to carry a firearm openly without the need for a license or government-mandated training, 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. What makes Manchin’s opposition even more bizarre is the fact that he has voted for - and is a current cosponsor of – federal legislation to allow non-residents to carry concealed without a permit in West Virginia.
Regardless of Senator Manchin’s disingenuous opposition, this legislation will soon be transmitted to West Virginia’s governor for consideration. Please show Governor Earl Ray Tomblin the strong support his constituents have for this bill by calling (304)558-2000 and politely urging him to sign SB 347! You can contact governor Tomblin by email here: http://www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/SubmitaCommenttotheGovernor.aspx