For the longest time, the people of West Virginia had to get a concealed carry permit and undergo mandatory training in order to secure the permit. The state legislature passed a bill that would eliminate that requirement as well as included a $50 tax credit fot those who wanted to get training.
Democrat Governor Earl Tomblin vetoed the bill citing opposition from law enforcement as one reason. The legislature has voted to override the Governor’s veto:
The W.Va. Senate has voted to override Governor Tomblin’s veto on the conceal carry bill.
In a 23-11 vote Saturday morning, the Senate voted to override the veto.
This comes just a day after the house voted to override the bill.
The bill now becomes law in 90 days.
The bill will do away with the state’s current permit and training program to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia for anyone ages 21 and older. Permits will be required for those between 18-21.
The new law will go into effect on May 26, 2016.
That let loose the absurd on the left, starting with Think Progress:
Allowing just anyone to carry a concealed weapon means that law enforcement officers have no way of knowing whether someone might be armed. It also means there’s no way to know how much training or expertise a gun carrier has with the weapon. The permitting process also included a background check and a gun safety class, both meant to reduce gun violence.
There are several things wrong with this paragraph. It is amazing it got past an editor:
1. Whether one has a permit or not, law enforcement has no way of knowing if someone is armed because the gun must be concealed. Law enforcement will have no idea regardless of whether a permit is required or not.
2. Constitutional rights do not require “expertise.” While it may be anecdotal, there is nobody I know who carries that does not spend time at the range, practicing as much as they can. It’s obvious Samantha Page, the author of the TP article has no idea what she’s talking about but nobody is requiring her to have first amendment expertise.
3. Background checks are already mandatory when purchasing from a federally licensed firearms dealer. A person that is not legally allowed to own a firearm is not legally allowed to carry a firearm as well. Page is making it appear that a prohibited person can now carry a firearm legally because there will be no permit process.
In speaking with a source in the West Virginia legislature (and somebody that supported the veto override), I was told, “The people of West Virginia are not scared to stand up for our constitutional rights and honor the the premise this great country was founded on.”
I reached out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael for comment on law enforcement’s opposition and he said:
“We understand and respect the concerns of the law enforcement community as it relates to the safety of our law enforcement agencies. However, there is ample evidence and full support of the fact that citizens that are able to arm and protect themselves in many cases help and assist law enforcement and in addition these are constitutional rights that must be protected.”
West Virginia will join Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming (residents only) as states designated as “constitutional carry” states that do not require any permits to carry a firearm, concealed.