Yesterday, Governor Jim Justice signed important range protection legislation, Senate Bill 575, into law. Sponsored by state Senator Charles Trump (R-15), SB 575 protects sport shooting ranges from frivolous lawsuits and noise complaints. This measure will shield sport shooting ranges from legal actions which aim to restrict or prohibit range usage. In the past, anti-gun activists have used frivolous lawsuits and noise complaints to put legally operating sport shooting ranges out of business. If a range is in full compliance with the law, it should not be subjected to unreasonable court fees, hiatus or closure.
There are still three pro-gun and pro-hunting bills awaiting Governor Justice’s signature.
Please contact Governor Jim Justice and urge him to sign HB 2679, SB 345, and SB 388 into law.
House Bill 2679, sponsored by Delegate Amy Summers (R-49), would allow a law-abiding person to carry a firearm in any state, county, or Municipal Park or other recreation area. This legislation would remove the ability for park commissions to prohibit carrying in parks by rules or ordinance. Law-abiding West Virginians who choose to carry a concealed handgun in a park should not need to worry about a confusing patchwork of firearm regulations throughout the state.
HB 2679 will also seek to expand Sunday hunting opportunities on private land with written permission. Currently, West Virginia allows hunting on Sundays in some counties on some private land. This change would remove this confusing patchwork. While hunting is restricted in West Virginia in certain counties on Sundays, other activities such as fishing, hiking and target shooting remain perfectly legal on the seventh day of the week. Between work, school and other obligations, Sunday hunting bans work to discourage hunting at a time when hunter recruitment and participation must be encouraged in order to save our hunting heritage. Restrictions on Sunday hunting effectively treat hunters as second-class citizens and tacitly endorse the view of animal extremists that there is something wrong with hunting.
Senate Bill 345, Sponsored by state Senator Mark Maynard (R-6), also seeks to expand Sunday hunting opportunities on private land with written permission similar to the provisions in HB 2679.
Senate Bill 388, sponsored by state Senator Dave Sypolt (R-14), would allow law-abiding citizens in possession of a concealed firearm to transport the firearm onto school property while dropping off or picking up students, as long as the firearm does not leave the motor vehicle. Current West Virginia law prevents firearms from being carried or transported onto school property, including by those who don’t step foot out of their car. Individuals who are legally allowed to carry a firearm for self-defense should not be barred from doing so while dropping off or picking up their kids from school.
Again, please contact Governor Jim Justice and urge him to sign HB 2679, SB 345, and SB 388 into law.