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West Virginia: Important Permitless Carry Legislation Up for Final Senate Vote

Thursday, February 18, 2016

West Virginia: Important Permitless Carry Legislation Up for Final Senate Vote

On Monday, February 22, the West Virginia Senate will likely consider and vote on House Bill 4145, important NRA-endorsed legislation that would enable a law-abiding adult to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense without a government-issued permit.  It’s imperative that you contact both your state Senator and Delegate TODAY and politely urge him or her to support HB 4145 without further delay.  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact your state legislators!

 

This legislation will recognize a law-abiding adult’s unconditional Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense in the manner he or she chooses.  HB 4145, sponsored by Delegate Saira Blair (R-Berkeley), recognizes that self-defense situations are difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate.  Accordingly, a law-abiding adult’s right to defend himself or herself in such situations should not be conditioned by government-mandated time delays and taxes.  HB 4145 also creates a new provisional concealed weapon licensing process by which law-abiding, trained 18-21 year olds may exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.  It is already lawful to open carry a firearm in the state of West Virginia without government-mandated permitting, training and taxes.  West Virginians should not be penalized for the method they feel most comfortable defending themselves.  

Unfortunately, out-of-state billionaire and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has once-again launched a misinformation campaign aimed at undermining the rights of law-abiding West Virginians.  Bloomberg-funded gun control groups are misrepresenting facts and statistics in an attempt to persuade your elected officials to oppose HB 4145.  It is imperative that you contact both your state legislators to set the record straight on permitless/constitutional carry.

HB 4145 will NOT allow violent criminals, drug dealers and convicted felons to lawfully carry concealed weapons in West Virginia.

The provisions of HB 4145 only apply to an individual who is: (1) at least 21 years of age; (2) a United States citizen or legal resident of the United States; and (3) not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.  If a convicted violent criminal or drug dealer possesses a concealed deadly weapon in West Virginia, they are committing a state and federal felony and will spend up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.  Furthermore, if a criminal uses a firearm during the commission of a felony, that individual will face an additional 10 years in prison.  Law-enforcement officers have the ability to nearly instantaneously verify whether an individual who possesses a firearm is a criminal.  HB 4145 only protects the rights of law-abiding individuals.

Statistics indicate that HB 4145 will NOT lead to an increase in firearm accidents and misuse.

Many opponents to HB 4145 claim that the lack of government-mandated firearm training prior to exercising your Right to Keep and Bear Arms will lead to an increase in firearm accidents and misuse.  This claim is simply unsupported by the facts.  Seven states already allow law-abiding individuals to possess a concealed firearm for self-defense without a permit.  An additional nine states do not mandate firearm training prior to obtaining a concealed weapon license, including Pennsylvania.  An analysis of widely available data shows no measurable increase in misuse or firearm-accidents in states that do not mandate training.  This will come as no surprise to responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

HB 4145 will NOT eliminate West Virginia’s current concealed weapon licensing system, nor will it jeopardize the benefits of obtaining a concealed weapon license.

Many opponents of HB 4145 state that a significant majority of West Virginians support the current concealed weapon licensing system and the benefits associated with obtaining a concealed weapon license.  The NRA doesn’t disagree that West Virginia’s current licensing system benefits the individuals who have the time and money to obtain a concealed weapon license.  That is why the current licensing process is left fully intact.  If an individual wishes to obtain a license in order to avail themselves of reciprocity with other states and the NICS exemption, then they may still do so. 

If HB 4145 passes the Senate, it will need to return to the House of Delegates for a concurrence vote.  Time is crucial.  Once again, please contact your state Senator and Delegate TODAY and politely urge him or her to support HB 4145.  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact your state legislators!

 

 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.