Gun legislation is on a quick path to becoming more liberalized, as West Virginia law makers are en route to eliminating the state’s concealed carry law. As West Virginia Metro News explains, there are several reasons for which the state’s concealed carry gun law will most likely be amended soon. The bill in question, known as Senate Bill 347 quickly passed through the West Virginia Senate, with 32 votes in favor and 2 against. As can be easily noticed from the results of the Legislature vote, it received strong bipartisan support and is currently about to be voted on in the state’s senate. In today’s post we explore the reasons for which West Virginian lawmakers are considering this change.
NRA influence Concealed Carry Law in West Virginia
As a cursory look at the evolution of West Virginia gun laws could lead you to believe, the influence of the NRA in this state is historically significant. The National Rifle Association carries a lot of weight there since there is a high ratio of individuals who hunt for sport and own weapons. For this reason, the state Legislature doesn’t want to risk receiving negative feedback from the Association.
At the moment, the bill is awaiting the House poll and would then also require the expressed support of West Virginia’s Governor, Mr. Tomblin. If passed, West Virginia would become the sixth state in the U.S., alongside Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, Arkansas, and Arizona, where concealed carry is not illegal.
Advocates of the bill on West Virginia gun laws, including vocal NRA members and those in the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, explain that there is at least one unwanted effect of the current legislation. In their view, locals who wear a coat over a weapon they’re carrying risk receiving a fine for carrying a concealed weapon – that is, of course, if they are not in possession of a concealed carry weapon permit. They say it’s currently all too simple for West Virginians to break the present laws. However, it’s worth wondering how often this state, where there is strong support for the Second Amendment, gives rise to such a scenario.
Members of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League also claim that the Second Amendment annuls the need for a citizen to go get a concealed carry permit. It is their God-granted right to carry a weapon and there should be no further provisions in this respect. However, this argument has been dismantled in the District of Columbia v. Heller case. At the time of the verdict, Antonin Scalia, Justice with the U.S. Supreme Court, argued that the Second Amendment does not provide for an unlimited right to carry weaponry. This right does not extend to risky places like government buildings or schools, nor does it allow the mentally ill and those who have been found guilty of crimes to bear weapons. Consequently, it should also logically limit the right to concealed carry of a gun.
The current concealed carry law in West Virginia states that applicants for concealed carry weapon permits need to fill out an application form, which extends over two pages. They also need to pay about $100 in fees for the permit and then they can receive the permit from the sheriff of their county. They are also required to take a training course in firing weapons with the NRA. Opponents of SB 347 state that the bill is, in this sense, ‘a solution looking for a problem’. We here at GunSmithU wholly support any law abiding American’s right to carry a firearm as long as they do so in a way that is safe for the entire community. It will be interesting to see how this bill affects our nation’s debate on gun rights.
Clearly, West Virginia is a state that recognizes the importance of protecting the second amendment. Find out how to become a certified gunsmith in one of the following metropolitan areas in the state: