Bill B. passes on an email blast from the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League:
Five bills passed (the West Virginia) legislature. HB2471: Speaker Rick Thompson’s bill prevents firearms or ammunition confiscations during a time of emergency. This is the “Hurricane Katrina” bill. Jackbooted thugs will not be allowed to storm your home and confiscate your firearms during a state of emergency as happened during Hurricane Katrina . . .
SB369: Senator John Unger’s bill makes it legal for the Attorney General to enter into a concealed carry reciprocity agreement with any state that is willing to sign. It takes away onerous restrictions we placed on other states, making them ineligible to join with us. At the least, I would expect this to allow the AG’s office to add Georgia and Alabama to our list of reciprocal states.
HB2866: Delegate Bill Hamilton’s bill makes a change to the 500 foot rule. It is currently illegal in West Virginia to discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a building or structure. There is no exception for your own house. So if your nearest neighbor is six miles away, it would still be illegal to shoot within 500 feet of your own house. This bill makes an exception for your own property, as long as no one else’s house or structure is within 500 feet of you. It is a simple change, but it makes sense and is long overdue.
HB2431: Delegate Rupie Phillips bill cleans up the CCW process, and allows for people with old and expunged disqualifying convictions a path to restoring their Second Amendment rights. A NOTE TO VETERANS ON 2431: This bill contained a provision to exempt West Virginia’s veterans from the CCW permit fees. This exemption was stripped from the bill by the West Virginia Senate. Senator Corey Palumbo stood in the Senate chamber crying the blues about the poor county sheriffs who will lose so much money. Corey Palumbo doesn’t mind taking money from the pockets of those who have signed a blank check for their very lives on his behalf, because sheriff Snuffy needs a new Glock.
SB435: This bill has a long and twisting story. This bill originally started life as Herb Snyder’s home rule bill. But as most of us know, Delegate Rupie Phillips introduced HB2760 which is statewide preemption. 2760 passed the house near unanimously, and then was unceremoniously killed by Senators Kessler, Snyder, and Palumbo. It looked as if all hope was lost, until home rule passed from the senate to the house. In the house, Delegate Patrick Lane amended the home rule bill to include the full text of 2760. This placed the senate in a bit of a pickle. If they wanted home rule (and my, did they) they got preemption too for home rule cities. The senate hated it, and they hated us for it, but they swallowed their pride and passed SB435 with home-rule cities preempted from nearly all gun ordinances.
What will remain:
- Home rule cities may enact carry bans on city hall and municipal courts.
- Home rule cities may prohibit open carry on city parks and other city property, but they MAY NOT prohibit concealed carry with a permit.
- Home rule cities may not restrict how many, or how often you can buy firearms.
- Home rule cities may not restrict the sale of firearms.
Governor Tomblin has expressed some displeasure in the media regarding preemption and home rule. We expect he will sign all of the gun bills from this session, as failure to do so may be political suicide. I doubt he’s willing to fall on his sword on preemptoin for Corey Palumbo and Danny Jones, but we will see.
And now a sad note about every single one of these bills. And I write this with tears welling in my eyes. Each of these bills over the past six years was originally written and pushed at various times by WVCDL founder, past president, treasurer, and legislative director, the late Jim Mullins. Wherever Jim is, I hope he is proud of what we have done with his organization.