West Virginia’s senate voted 23-11 to override Governor veto on the conceal carry bill on Saturday. The measure was passed along after the house also voted to override the veto by a vote of 64-33. The measure makes it no longer necessary to apply for a permit to have a concealed weapon.
The legislation provides a $50 tax credit for anyone who voluntarily undergoes gun training and persons between the ages of 18-21 must still obtain a permit.
“As the chief legal officer of the state and the person in charge of criminal matters for the state at the WV Supreme Court and in federal courts, I know that this legislation will not impact public safety,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey said after the veto. “If this bill is enacted, we will not only expand freedom, but we will keep our citizens protected.”
“Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Law-abiding West Virginians are now free to choose the method of self-defense that best suits their needs. The NRA and our five million members are pleased that the legislature voted in support of West Virginians’ Second Amendment freedoms.”
“This is a big win,” said Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb. “Not just for gun rights but for the freedom movement in the battle against billionaire elitist gun prohibitionists like Michael Bloomberg. West Virginia just told him he can’t buy away our Second Amendment rights.”
Of course, there were no shortage of ignorant and inflammatory responses from the left.
“It’s unfortunate that the concerns of officers from every law enforcement branch in the state, including the West Virginia State Police and university campus police officers, have been ignored by today’s action,” Governor Tomblin said.
“I can hear them (drug runners) up in Detroit, Michigan….I can possibly hear the cheers going up,” Sen. Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) said.
Perhaps he didn’t hear that right.
“I can hear freedom knocking at the doors in West Virginia. That’s exactly what this does,” Sen. Craig Blair (R-Berkeley) said.
West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole (R) delivered a moving statement following the veto, saying in part,
“The Senate today, in a broad bipartisan vote, defended the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding West Virginia citizens by overriding Governor Tomblin’s veto of House Bill 4145.
This bill allows West Virginians to protect themselves without the government’s permission. It has been improved from the bill vetoed last year by creating three new criminal offenses. The new felony offenses come with tough penalties for using a concealed deadly weapon during the commission of a crime, and for carrying a concealed firearm if you are not legally permitted to do so. We are also creating an incentive for training courses, which I believe will go a long way to encourage people to be properly trained on the safe use of their weapons.
I am proud of this version, and I am pleased that today we were able to stand up for the constitutional rights our citizens hold so dear.”
The law is set to go into effect on May 26, making West Virginia one of eight states to allow permit-less concealed carry. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, and Wyoming are so-called constitutional carry states. In Wyoming, the law applies to residents only.