On Wednesday, January 27, the House Judiciary Committee will receive testimony on House Bill 4145, legislation that would allow a law-abiding individual, who is 21 years of age or older, to lawfully carry a concealed handgun for self-defense without a permit. HB 4145 also addresses a current deficiency in state law that prohibits an individual who is between the ages of 18 and 21 from obtaining a concealed weapon permit.
As previously reported, the provisions of HB 4145 are intended to protect law-abiding individuals who wish to exercise their fundamental right of self-defense. HB 4145 will not allow individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm, under state or federal law, to lawfully carry a concealed handgun.
Unfortunately, it already appears that anti-gun interests in Charleston are attempting to undermine this important legislation. Among the many unfavorable amendments that are being contemplated is a "duty to inform" provision. This ambiguous provision would require a law-abiding individual to disclose, upon any interaction with law enforcement, that they possess a firearm. Such provisions are wrought with problems and subject law-abiding gun owners to prosecution for simply forgetting or waiting too long to disclose that they have a firearm. Furthermore, criminals who are carrying illegal guns aren't going to disclose that they are breaking the law.
Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee immediately and ask that they support HB 4145 without a “duty to inform” amendment. Committee contact information can be found below.
House Judiciary Committee
Delegate John Scott (R-Mercer, 27), Chairman
Delegate Patrick Lane (R-Kanawha, 38), Vice-Chair
Delegate Tim Manchin (D-Marion, 50), Minority Chair
Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson, 67), Vice-Minority Chair
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 Kayla Kessinger (R-Fayette, 32)
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 Ryan Weld (R-Brooke, 02)
Delegate Mark Zatezalo (R-Hancock, 01)
Delegate Andrew Byrd (D-Kanawha, 35)
Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia, 51)
Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio, 03)
Delegate Justin Marcum (D-Mingo, 20)
Delegate Clif Moore (D-McDowell, 26)
Delegate Larry Rowe (D-Kanawha, 36)
Delegate Steven Shaffer (D-Preston, 52)